Heavy rain and squalls caused damage on Friday night, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. It could hit the East on Friday.

A storm front with heavy rain and squalls has left its mark in western and southern Germany. In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, it triggered at least 1,650 firefighting operations well into Friday, according to the state’s Ministry of the Interior.

There were failures and route closures in rail traffic. The German Weather Service had warned of the thunderstorm front with heavy rain. On Friday, the storms shifted to the eastern half of Germany. The rain is expected to take a break at the start of the weekend.

In several cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, the fire brigades were in constant use on Thursday evening – for example because of fallen trees, flooded basements and streets. Compared to other storms, however, the damage that was initially reported was manageable.

Failure of telephones in Duisburg

According to the fire department, four people were slightly injured in the North Rhine-Westphalian district of Wesel. For example, in Hünxe a tractor driver was hit by parts of a tree and in Dinslaken a car driver was slightly injured by a fallen tree.

In the Duisburg district of Baerl, the phones fell out at times, according to the fire brigade, which had to process 500 emergency calls in a short time. By Thursday at 10 p.m., more than 600 operations related to the storm had been reported to the city’s fire department. There was a multitude of downed trees, as well as flooding of streets and basements. On the Ruhr, the fire brigade rescued people who had capsized with a boat. A young man who paddled a canoe across the flooded street in Mönchengladbach attracted attention on social media.

Attic fire in Bergisch Gladbach

A lightning strike caused a roof truss fire on a family home in Bergisch Gladbach. No one was injured, according to the fire department. A lightning strike also caught fire in a barn in Hatten near Oldenburg and burned down, according to the police.

In Krefeld, the fire brigade was in constant use because of the storm, a spokesman said. Many citizens have started pulling smaller trees and branches off the streets. Streets and many basements were also flooded in the city.

In Kempten, Bavaria, a lightning strike shut down the railway signal box, and trains were temporarily stopped on the route to Kaufering. In Oberstdorf there were mudslides, several roads were blocked by debris and water, and the cellars and stables were full of water. In the Bavarian district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and in the Ostalbkreis (Baden-Württemberg), the fire brigade also had to be called out due to hail damage, flooded streets or cellars.

Rain moves east

On Friday, the rainfall shifted to the eastern half of Germany. The German weather service also expected thunderstorms. In the evening there could be the last strong thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail and gusts of wind in the north-east and east, it said. The weather should calm down later in the evening.

High “Hartmut” will bring partly summery sunny weather back to Germany at the weekend. On Saturday there will be a lot of sun and only a few clouds in the south and in the middle. According to the meteorologists, the temperatures will rise to up to 29 degrees. In the north and northwest it can be cloudy from time to time, but there is hardly any chance of showers. In the far north, the temperatures are between 21 and 25 degrees. It will remain sunny and only slightly cloudy on Sunday. There will be isolated showers in the north-west and south-west, and thunderstorms in the Alps.