Düsseldorf The memory of the severe storms from last year is still fresh, and the concern is correspondingly great. The storm with thunderstorms and hurricane gusts, which was expected with uneasiness, reached NRW in the afternoon.
With lightning, thunder and heavy rain, the storm that had been awaited with concern swept over North Rhine-Westphalia on Friday afternoon. Cellars were full of water and many events had to be cancelled. More massive damage was not known until around 4:30 p.m., as a spokeswoman for the situation center in the Ministry of the Interior said.
The storm was particularly violent in the Eifel in the extreme south-west on the state border with Rhineland-Palatinate: There the German Weather Service (DWD) reported the highest warning level 4 in the afternoon – “extreme storm”. The DWD had previously issued official severe weather warnings for the southwestern areas of North Rhine-Westphalia – a strip from Aachen to the Ruhr area. The emergency services there did not initially report any larger operations.
The Neuss fire brigade reported flooded streets and full cellars in the afternoon. As the day before, the city of Krefeld evacuated accommodation with temporary buildings for refugees from Ukraine as a precaution, as the “Westdeutsche Zeitung” reported.
A music festival in Erkelenz on the Lower Rhine was canceled because the organizers were concerned that fences or tarpaulins could be blown through the air by the strong wind. The visitors continued to celebrate in front of their cars with rain ponchos, the WDR reported.
At Düsseldorf Airport, the handling of suitcases on the airfield was interrupted from 3:11 p.m. to 3:37 p.m. due to the storm, a spokesman said. But that had no major impact, flights did not have to be diverted. “The machines are flying according to plan.”