Due to the approaching hurricane "Zeynep", Deutsche Bahn is gradually stopping its long-distance and regional traffic in the northern half of Germany and in parts of North Rhine-Westphalia. According to Bahn, the regional traffic stop affects Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Bremen, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and parts of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The settings in regional traffic were made "during the day," said the spokesman. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the operation of various regional and S-Bahn lines has been phased out since 2 p.m.
The Hamburger Hochbahn announced that it would switch to slower travel throughout the entire subway network from approximately 3:00 p.m. Deviations from the timetable are possible as a result.
Severe impairments in long-distance traffic
Long-distance trains will no longer operate north of Dortmund, Hanover and Berlin from the afternoon until the end of the day. According to the information, ICE and IC traffic is also to be discontinued on the east-west route between Cologne via Hanover and Berlin. According to Deutsche Bahn, no ICE or IC trains should run on the route between Berlin via Frankfurt am Main to Amsterdam throughout Friday.
Tickets can be canceled free of charge
The spokesman spoke of "serious" severe weather warnings. The stop was made for safety reasons based on experience with previous comparable extreme weather conditions. It is better to hold trains in the stations than to risk emergency stops on open routes. Stranded passengers could be looked after much worse there.
Deutsche Bahn advised all customers to bring their journeys forward if possible or to postpone them entirely. If this is not possible, passengers should definitely keep themselves informed about the current storm and traffic events, said the spokesman. The timetable information is constantly updated.
Passengers can use their tickets booked for the period from Thursday to Sunday flexibly until February 27 or cancel free of charge if they postpone trips because of the storm.
Wind speeds of up to 160 km/h
The focus of the hurricane "Zeynep" is from the afternoon to Saturday morning in the northern half and the middle of Germany, predict the meteorologists of the German Weather Service (DWD). Parts of the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Bremen, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony are affected.
Accordingly, wind speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour are expected on the North Sea coast. In the second half of the night, "Zeynep" hits the coast of the Baltic Sea, and then gradually fades away. "This means that the risk of severe weather has been banned for the time being," said a DWD meteorologist. Nevertheless, according to the DWD, it will remain stormy in Germany at least until Monday.
Firefighters advise precautionary measures
In order to avoid damage and accidents from the approaching storm, citizens should make appropriate preparations, said Christopher Rehnert, head of the Lüdenscheid fire brigade, in the morning magazine of ARD and ZDF. "Everything on the patio that isn't nailed down should be brought in and put in the garage."
Flower boxes or other items should be removed from balconies. Rehnert currently advises against going for walks. Above all, you should avoid trips into the forest after a violent storm, as broken branches could fall down there. "The hours and days after that can still be dangerous."
VW plant in Emden stops production
The hurricane also has an impact on production at Volkswagen's Emden plant. This will be suspended for the time being. A VW spokeswoman confirmed a corresponding report by the "Emder Zeitung". Accordingly, the late and night shifts were canceled on Friday. On Saturday, the early shift was also supposed to start work a little later. Employees were asked to stay at home. It is about protecting the employees from the storm on their way to and from the plant, according to the spokeswoman.
Since Wednesday evening, hurricane low "Ylenia" had led to thousands of operations. At least three drivers in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt died in weather-related accidents – two were killed by falling trees. A third died when his trailer ran into the oncoming lane in a storm, causing an accident.