“Hit with full force”: Storm surge causes major damage to the Baltic Sea coast

Over the course of Saturday morning, the water levels fell again and the disaster alert was lifted.

“Hit with full force”: Storm surge causes major damage to the Baltic Sea coast

Over the course of Saturday morning, the water levels fell again and the disaster alert was lifted. The highest water levels were recorded around midnight: in Flensburg, for example, according to the fire department, the level was almost 2.30 meters above normal - a value that had not been seen there for almost 120 years.

The fire brigade explained that other places were also “hit with full force by the masses of water”. In Maasholm alone, a small town at the mouth of the mucus, 400 people had to be evacuated for safety reasons because a dike burst.

The Schleswig-Holstein fire department reported around 2,000 storm-related operations. The fire department explained that the cleanup, repairs and reconstruction work would “probably take a long time.” There was “significant property damage”.

The mayor of the particularly affected city of Flensburg, Fabian Geyer, spoke on Saturday of “extreme flooding”. But the worst is over: "Today we'll have to clean up." According to the information, a firefighter was slightly injured during the operations in Flensburg, but otherwise there were no injuries.

The Schleswig-Holstein state capital gave the all-clear in the morning. “Kiel got off lightly in comparison,” explained the head of the Kiel fire department, Thomas Hinz. No people were injured in Kiel; According to Hinz, the damage was limited to “capsized boats, forgotten beach chairs and a few building damages.”

Fire chief Hinz was annoyed by the recklessness of some citizens. "Unfortunately, we often had to deal with so-called flood tourists who went too close to the flood in search of the most spectacular photo." This triggered several operations.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was less affected by the storm surge than Schleswig-Holstein. According to the state government, in some places the water level briefly rose to around 1.50 meters above normal. The dikes and flood barriers had served their purpose, explained Agriculture Minister Till Backhaus (SPD). Without the Greifswald barrier, “large areas” in Greifswald and the surrounding area would have been flooded, he explained.

Backhaus warned against entering coastal dunes. Due to sea conditions and water levels, "significant amounts of sand" were relocated to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's coast. The dunes and cliffs could therefore be unstable and dangerous. The Coastal Protection Administration will endeavor to reduce the danger in the coming weeks.

According to the German Weather Service, the storm and storm surge were triggered by strong differences in air pressure between a low over Western Europe and a pronounced high over Scandinavia. As a result, strong storm winds pushed the water masses from the east to the Baltic Sea coast.

There were also severe weather alarms in Sweden, Denmark and Great Britain. Several ferry connections across the Baltic Sea were temporarily interrupted - for example between Germany and Denmark, Germany and Sweden and Sweden and Poland. 77 flights were canceled at Copenhagen Airport. In England, train services were temporarily disrupted due to squalls and heavy rain.

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