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Sudden Winter Onset Causes Chaos in Hesse, Germany

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Wojciech Zylm
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Sudden Winter Onset Causes Chaos in Hesse, Germany

An unexpected and severe winter onset in the German state of Hesse, particularly in the Rheingau-Taunus district, has led to significant traffic disruptions and potentially life-threatening situations. The fire department has urged the population to refrain from using cars, emphasizing the importance of respecting road closures. Despite the warnings, many drivers were stranded on Monday evening, with approximately 100 individuals needing to be rescued by the fire department near Eltville. In Bad Schwalbach, students were snowed in at a school. District fire chief Michael Ehresmann described the situation as exceptional, reporting falling trees. Emergency services were continuously deployed, and additional disaster relief forces were called in. Frankfurt Main Airport also experienced problems due to snowfall and an IT failure at Lufthansa, leading to delays and flight cancellations. Details on the extent of the chaos at the airport and the IT failure have not been initially disclosed.

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Winter Woes Wreak Havoc

The unprecedented early arrival of winter brought along heavy snowfall and icy roads, particularly impacting the western state of Hesse. Power outages occurred due to falling trees in some areas. Across Hesse, road accidents were a common sight, and trees succumbed to the weight of the snow. Drivers found themselves trapped in their cars in the Rheingau-Taunus district, and about a hundred people had to be rescued due to fallen trees near the town of Eltville.

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(Read Also: Hesse in Germany Grapples with Severe Winter Disruptions)

Rescue Operations and Road Closures

Despite the warning issued by the fire department, many drivers were left stranded on Monday evening. Emergency services were continuously deployed, and additional disaster relief forces were called. Students and staff at a school in Bad Schwalbach had to spend the night at the school because school buses were no longer running. Firefighters set up temporary sleeping accommodations for the 55 people, including 27 children, stranded at the school.

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Frankfurt Airport Grapples with Snowfall and IT Glitch

The sudden snowfall and an IT glitch at Lufthansa also led to problems at Frankfurt Main Airport, causing delays and flight cancellations. However, the exact details regarding the extent of the chaos at the airport and the specifics of the IT failure remain undisclosed.

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