Storm: Severe storm surge expected on the Baltic Sea

On the Baltic Sea coast, the first streets and bank areas were flooded due to the storm surge.

Storm: Severe storm surge expected on the Baltic Sea

On the Baltic Sea coast, the first streets and bank areas were flooded due to the storm surge. On Friday morning, numerous streets in Wismar as well as in Kiel and Flensburg were already under water. “The water is coming, it has already penetrated very far, it is already at the door,” said a spokeswoman for the Flensburg police to the German Press Agency.

In Kiel, several beach chairs had already been pulled into the water in Schiksee on Thursday afternoon. "The water is unusually high there. Around 150 beach chairs were recovered there," said a police spokeswoman.

The storm surge on the Baltic Sea is expected to reach its peak in the evening. On the entire Schleswig-Holstein coast, the water level will rise 1.50 meters or more above the mean high water, said a spokeswoman for the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency in Rostock. The hotspot will be the Flensburg Fjord. The water there could rise to 2.00 meters above mean high water. Further south and east, water levels will be lower, the spokeswoman said. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the flood will only reach the level of a severe storm surge near the Bay of Lübeck.

“Take appropriate precautions”

Schleswig-Holstein's Environment Minister Tobias Goldschmidt (Greens), who is also responsible for coastal protection, called on coastal residents to be careful. “I also appeal to everyone living on the Baltic Sea coast to be well informed and to take appropriate precautionary measures,” explained Goldschmidt. With a possible duration of up to 40 hours, the storm surge could last significantly longer than similar storm events in 2017 and 2019. Beach walls like those at the mouth of the mule could be flooded. Beach clearing and steep bank demolitions are also to be expected.

The Danish police issued a much clearer warning. She called on residents and holidaymakers in the south and east of Denmark to leave the coastal area by this morning at the latest. The summer house areas on the southern coasts of the islands of Lolland, Falster and Funen as well as in the fjords of Haderslev, Aabenraa (Aabenraa) and Flensburg, which are popular with German holidaymakers, are also affected. Due to the storm surge warning, numerous departures on the ferry line between Rostock and the Danish port of Gedser on Falster are canceled today.

Water levels up to 2.4 meters above normal are possible

The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) warned of flooding in the affected coastal areas from Friday morning to Saturday afternoon. The water level could rise up to 2.4 meters above normal.

According to the BSH, a storm surge begins on the Baltic Sea coast when the water level is one meter above normal. Above 1.25 meters it is considered a medium storm surge and above 1.5 meters it is considered a severe storm surge. If the water rises by more than two meters, this is a very severe storm surge. Unlike in the North Sea, the tidal range plays practically no role in the Baltic Sea. The water levels rise especially when storms from the east push the water against the Schleswig-Holstein coast.

According to predictions by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will fare more lightly. It is expected to be a medium storm surge, said the spokeswoman. In Greifswald the water will rise to 1.40 meters above mean high water, and in Koserow on Usedom to around one meter. According to the information, the maximum levels can differ by 10 centimeters because they depend on the more difficult to predict wind conditions.

The German Weather Service (DWD) warned of hurricane-like gusts with wind speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour on the Schleswig-Holstein Baltic Sea coast. The warning applies from 12 p.m. today to 2 a.m. tomorrow, as the DWD states on its official warning card on the Internet.

Extremely low water levels on the North Sea coast

The Federal Office expects extremely low water levels on the North Sea coast because the strong easterly wind is pushing the water away from the coast. In Cuxhaven the water levels are said to be more than 1.5 meters below the mean low water level today. In Hamburg the water level is expected to fall 2 meters below the mean low water level. In the past 25 years, the water level on the German North Sea coast has only fallen below 1.5 meters below mean low water three times - twice in March 2018 and once in November 2022, as the Federal Office further announced.

There are cancellations and shifts in the timetables on the ferry connections to the Halligen and islands. The Neue Pellwormer Dampfschiffahrts GmbH and the Wyker Dampfschiffs-Reederei announced timetable changes until tomorrow.