Heavy snow creates severe traffic disruptions in Germany

AP International

Cars jam on the snow covered highway A2 in Oberhausen, Germany, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. Parts of Germany hit by strong winter weather. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

BERLIN (AP) — Heavy snowfall in Germany led to more severe traffic disruptions Tuesday, including a 37-kilometer (23 mile) logjam in which hundreds of cars and trucks got stuck on a highway for hours in sub-zero temperatures.

Hundreds of vehicles were trapped on the A2 highway in western Germany all night in that traffic jam, Bielefeld police reported early Tuesday. Rescue teams went from car to car handing out blankets and hot drinks, the German news agency dpa reported.

Traffic jams due to snowfall and icy roads were also reported in Brandenburg state in the east and in Hesse state in central Germany. Train service was also partially canceled in several regions and snowplows worked around the clock to free the tracks of ice and snow.

The country’s transportation minister called on Germans to stay at home and avoid traveling.

“When conditions are this extreme, even the best track heating and the best snowplow can reach their limits,” Andreas Scheuer said.

The snowy weather also affected the regional airport of Dortmund in western Germany, where all flights were either canceled or rerouted to other airports until Thursday at 6 a.m.

More snow was predicted for northern Germany for Tuesday especially for Schleswig-Hollstein, the German Weather Service DWD reported.

Parts of central and northern Europe as well as Britain have been gripped by a cold weather front since the weekend that the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, the Dutch national weather service, dubbed Storm Darcy.

In the neighboring Czech Republic, trucks formed miles-long lines of traffic on the D8 highway that connects the capital of Prague with Germany. The traffic was halted after Czech and German authorities closed the tunnels on both sides of the border and the border crossing overnight due to severe weather.

Meanwhile, people in Prague enjoyed the best snow conditions in a decade for cross-country skiing on Prague’s famed Charles Bridge and the nearby picturesque Little Quarter neighborhood.

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This story has been corrected to show it was the Dutch national weather service, not U.K. forecasters, who named Storm Darcy.

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