We had a really awful storm here yesterday evening, the worst one in many, many years. The sky went black in a few seconds, and I went onto the balcony, as usual to take some photos. I got 2, but the wind started blowing so hard I could hardly stand, and I could hear trees snapping and cracking. The wind here was blowing at a speed of 145 km per hour. (Sorry about the bad quality of the pics, the weather was to blame....)
For more than an hour it never stopped thundering and flashing; it was like someone was flicking a light switch all the time. In between there were enormous lightning flashes and thunder crashes, it really was scary. I am not easily scared, but I was shaking. Things like that make you feel very helpless. The rain was extremely heavy, too, mixed with hail-stones. The airport, which is near here, had to close down, and started flying again late in the evening and well into the night. I got woken up just after 5am by another storm, but it was not as bad as the night before. The Fire Brigade has been busy all day, trying to clear roads and chopping up fallen trees and branches. Many houses have been damaged by falling trees, and some roofs were ripped off by the wind. All roads leading in all directions were blocked completely or partially, there were no trams or trains because of damage to the lines or the overhead cables. I have never seen so many cars on the roads here, they all needed a lot of patience to get anywhere. I went out this morning to look at the damage, and take photos, and when I got back I heard on the radio that the whole town had been declared a 'no-go' area, and we were all advised to stay home. It will take days before all the fallen trees are cleared away. Schools were closed, and a lot of people had to take a day off work, as they couldn't get anywhere. In North Rhine Westphalia 6 people died. In our town a group of people trying to get home took shelter in a garden-house, and were crushed when a tree fell on it - 3 died, and others were badly injured. A cyclist was killed on the other side of the Rhine when a tree fell on him. I really feel devastated. But I would like to praise the Fire Brigade, Police, Ambulance men and other helpers, who really risked their lives helping others. I heard on the news that all in all they had 17000 emergencies. And we are expecting more storms this evening and/or in the night, and then the storm front will move on to other areas in Germany. I just hope that no more people will lose their lives.
All streets were littered with leaves, branches, bird's nests etc, and people were all busy clearing away and sweeping.
This is the little lane I go down to get to the Rhine, and it was totally blocked today.
I was intending to show some things I made for various challenges today, but it is hard to just get down to 'business as usual', so they will have to keep till tomorrow.
Have a good day you all, take care, stay safe, and thanks for coming by!