Summer storm chaos: Berlin fire brigade declares state of emergency

Summer storm chaos: Berlin fire brigade declares state of emergency

Violent summer thunderstorms battered parts of Germany overnight, flooding basements, uprooting trees and causing trains to be cancelled. In Berlin, the emergency services declared a “state of emergency” due to the weather

Stormy weather causes chaos in Berlin and Brandenburg

A short but violent bout of stormy weather - including heavy rain and strong gusts of wind - caused a heavy dose of chaos in parts of Germany on Monday evening, including Berlin, Cologne and Frankfurt. 

In Berlin, the fire brigade received more than 350 weather-related emergency calls in the night from Monday to Tuesday, causing it to temporarily announce a “state of emergency weather”. Most of the calls were related to broken or fallen trees, a spokesperson said. In Marienfelde, parts of a warehouse roof collapsed under the weight of the water

The weather also caused widespread disruption to transportation, the after-effects of which are still being felt on Tuesday morning. In Prenzlauer Berg parts of a tree toppled over into a tramline’s overhead wires. In many parts of the city the traffic lights failed, while the S-Bahn was on Monday night reporting delays and cancellations across its entire network. 

In Brandenburg, the emergency services were called out multiple times due to isolated flooding and fallen trees. In Neuenhagen bei Berlin, a tree fell on a car with a person sitting inside. The woman was freed by firefighters but said to be unharmed. 

Storms moving south across Germany on Tuesday

Rain and strong winds were also felt in other parts of the country. In Cologne, there were reports of flooded basements and uprooted trees, resulting in one injury, according to city authorities. In Frankfurt am Main, two sailors capsized on the Main River, and had to be rescued by water police. Thankfully, no one was harmed. 

For Tuesday, the German Weather Service has said that the stormy weather will sweep southwards across the country, bringing heavy rain and strong gusts of wind. In Berlin, Brandenburg and northern Germany, the worst is mostly over, with just a few rain showers and stormy gusts expected to break up an otherwise overcast day. 

Thumb image credit: posteriori /



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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