Orkan low “Zeynep” caused storm surges, road accidents and rail traffic failures at the start of the weekend. At least three people died because of the storm. The fire brigades counted thousands of operations, mostly because of fallen trees, objects flying around or damaged buildings – in North Rhine-Westphalia alone they deployed more than 12,000 operations by Saturday noon.
Because of the storm damage, rail traffic in northern Germany and in North Rhine-Westphalia will remain severely affected until at least Monday afternoon. There are delays and train cancellations, Deutsche Bahn (DB) announced on Saturday evening and continued to advise traveling to the affected regions to be postponed. By the end of the day, no long-distance trains should be running north of Dortmund, Hanover and Berlin on Saturday, as well as ICE trains between Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe and Berlin, EC/IC trains between Berlin and Dresden, ICE/IC trains from Frankfurt (Main) or Berlin to Amsterdam and EC trains between Berlin and Warsaw. “The forecast for Sunday and Monday remains difficult,” said DB spokesman Achim Stauss. “The damage to the railway infrastructure is massive.” Over 1000 kilometers of track were damaged. “Our clearing crews are practically working at the limit.”
Stauss also said that DB had expanded the goodwill rules again. All passengers who want or have to postpone their trip planned for the period from February 17th to 21st due to the ongoing stormy season can either use their already booked long-distance ticket flexibly or cancel it free of charge up to and including February 28th. The train connection with savings prices and super savings prices has been lifted. According to DB, there is damage to the railway infrastructure in particular in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia.
The center of the storm field is in northern Germany. In addition to Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium were particularly affected by the storm, which was internationally known as “Eunice”. In Great Britain, almost 200,000 households were still without power on Saturday, after 1.4 million households were meanwhile affected. A peak gust of 196 kilometers per hour was measured on the Isle of Wight – the strongest gust of wind ever measured in England.
Insurance claims exceed the billion mark
According to an initial estimate, “Zeynep” caused insured losses of over 900 million euros. The storm was the most intense since “Kyrill” in 2007, said management consultancy Meyerthole Siems Kohlruss (MSK), which specializes in actuarial mathematics. The company had estimated the insured damage from the previous storm “Ylenia” at 500 million euros. The overall damage caused by storms is generally higher, sometimes quite significantly. It is therefore assumed that the sum will add up to over one billion euros.
One of the at least three storm fatalities was a 17-year-old who died in Hopsten (NRW) as a passenger. According to the police, the driver of the car may have avoided a branch and thus left the road. According to preliminary findings, the NRW Ministry of the Interior counts him as a storm death. According to the police, a 56-year-old driver died near Altenberge in North Rhine-Westphalia when he crashed his car into a tree lying across the road.
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