2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Many travelers miss up to 100 kilometers of traffic jams on Christmas Eve. And there is hardly any improvement in sight in the next few days.
As smooth as a mirror, overcrowded trains and even more snow in sight: the day before Christmas Eve, tourist traffic started to slide. Freezing rain and black ice hindered traffic on Thursday, especially in northern and eastern Germany. A layer of ice up to two centimeters thick had formed on the streets, it was said in Lower Saxony. The railway was also affected - there were cancellations and delays, especially on the routes in the north. By contrast, the situation at Frankfurt Airport continued to ease. After days of flight cancellations, almost everything went back to normal at Europe's largest airport in London-Heathrow. The airport in London announced that 90 percent of all planned take-offs and landings had been processed.
Bulky pile on the A9
A man was killed in a pile-up on the Autobahn 9 (Berlin-Munich) one day before Christmas Eve near Weißenfels in Saxony-Anhalt. 51 vehicles were involved in the series of accidents on icy roads and in fog. Ten people were injured. In the accident between Bad Dürrenberg and Naumburg, 45 cars, four trucks and two vans crashed into each other. A ten-kilometer-long traffic jam in the direction of Munich formed on the important and heavily traveled north-south route.
The train traffic between Oldenburg and Puttgarden (Schleswig-Holsten) was paralyzed for more than six hours due to massive snowdrifts. Only after a snow blower had cleared the track could it be released again in the late afternoon.
Rush to the train
The train groaned across Germany under the onslaught of Christmas travelers. At the train stations between Flensburg and Munich people crowded together, many passengers could only get a standing room. Again there were many delays and cancellations. The ICE trains are allowed to accelerate to a maximum of 200 km / h to avoid damage from chunks of ice that are thrown up.
By contrast, the situation at Frankfurt Airport continued to ease. "Everything is running smoothly for us," said the spokesman for Fraport, Thomas Uber. By the afternoon, 50 flights had been canceled at Germany's largest airport. However, this is due to the ongoing disruptions at other airports. There are also hardly any travelers stranded at the airport. The biggest problems in air traffic were in Dublin and Paris, as the European aviation safety authority Eurocontrol reported in Brussels. On average, the planes were 80 minutes late. Fog led to delays in Vienna, Prague and Athens.
Road salt scarce
On the road, the north was particularly affected - where new snow was added to the black ice. Many districts now have almost no road salt. In the Holzminden district in Lower Saxony it was said that the salt was only sufficient for the most important road sections. In Lower Saxony there were major problems, especially on Autobahns 2 and 39. "If you don't have to drive, you should definitely leave the car behind," said the traffic management center. Numerous trucks stood across. Truck drivers were asked to drive to the next parking space or, if necessary, to stop on the hard shoulder. The A7 had to be temporarily closed to the south between Göttingen and Hann. Münden-Hedemünden.
In the north of Schleswig-Holstein, snow drifts hindered motorists. There, too, trucks repeatedly lined up on the freeways, cars slid off icy lanes. In the morning, black ice paralyzed Autobahn 24 Berlin-Hamburg, which had to be temporarily closed after several accidents near Neuruppin.
On the A1 between Hamburg and Lübeck, the situation came to a head in the morning, and there were several accidents on ice with injuries. "The autobahn is increasingly icing up. People should stay at home or drive more carefully," warned a police spokeswoman.
During the night, rain in Brandenburg and Berlin led to freezing wetness. Black ice was widely reported from Saxony-Anhalt, and bus traffic was discontinued in some districts.
Even on Christmas Eve it stays cold - and snow falls almost everywhere. In the north and east, however, the gifts can also be less nice, reported the German Weather Service (DWD) on Thursday. The low "Scarlett" brings with new snow strong wind, which can lead to snow drifts. (dpa)