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Storm "Ignatz" sweeps over the region: Deutsche Bahn suspends long-distance services in NRW

Storm "Ignatz" sweeps over the region : Deutsche Bahn suspends long-distance services in NRW

On Thursday morning, the storm system "Ignatz" swept over Bonn and the region. Storm damage caused disruptions to regional traffic. Deutsche Bahn completely suspended long-distance traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia. Line 66 is running again after being closed between Rhöndorf and Bad Honnef.

Deutsche Bahn suspended long-distance services throughout North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday due to storm damage. This was announced by a DB spokesman in Düsseldorf this morning. Two main routes in NRW were no longer passable for long-distance traffic: Cologne-Düsseldorf and Cologne-Bonn. Extensive repair work is underway there as a result of storm damage. It is not yet possible to say how long this will take. The railroad spokesman added that attempts were being made to reroute long-distance trains on certain lines going past NRW.

In Bonn and the region, the storm resulted in several, mostly smaller, fire department deployments. Responding to an inquiry at about 8 am, the Bonn Fire Department said it had only received a few calls until then but the wind picked up after that. As a result, 14 calls came in within an hour. Callers reported everything from broken branches to entire fallen trees. According to a press spokesman, however, there were no major traffic obstructions.

In the Rhine-Sieg district, the fire department was called out 130 times, mainly because of fallen trees or construction fences, said a spokesman for the control center.

L330 closed near Königswinter-Eudenbach

In Königswinter, the L330 between Eudenbach and the Bundeswehr depot was closed because a tree around 15 meters high, is in danger of falling onto the roadway. The NRW roads department was on the scene.

Near Spitzenbach, a tree on the tracks blocked tram line 66 between Rhöndorf and Bad Honnef starting at about 9:25 am. According to the Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB), the trains have been running normally again since 11:30 am. The overhead line had been slightly damaged by the tree, but has since been repaired.

In Bonn-Duisdorf, lines 606 and 607 cannot reach the stops "Derlestrasse", "Kannheideweg" and "Malteser-Krankenhaus" due to road closures. According to SWB, the roads were closed due to storm damage. According to the Duisdorf volunteer fire department, Derlestrasse is closed because a 20-meter-high tree has tipped over onto another tree. This is now being removed with equipment from the fire department.

The German Weather Service (DWD) lifted the warning of gale-force winds in the Rhine-Sieg district, the Neuwied district and the Ahrweiler district on Thursday morning. But there was still a warning for strong winds in Bonn and the surrounding area.

Search for a person in Niederkassel

The fire department in Niederkassel was called at 7 am by a woman who had been out walking. According to Gerhard Voosen, press spokesman for the fire department, the woman had observed a jogger running into a wooded area and shortly thereafter heard a loud bang and a cry for help. It is unclear whether the jogger was actually hit by a tree.

A drone search did not yield any new information. Federal police also searched in an armored vehicle but no one was found. "You should definitely avoid forests during storms," Voosen warned.

The Bad Honnef volunteer fire department was dispatched ten times this morning, mainly because of fallen trees. On the B42, a car collided with a tree, resulting in slight damage. The fire departments in Rheinbach, Troisdorf and Königswinter were also dispatched for a small number of fallen trees.

Branch fell onto track

A freight train collided with a branch in Bad Godesberg late Wednesday night, affecting long-distance traffic from Cologne to Koblenz in the morning. According to a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn, the branch had fallen onto the track. "We have to reroute on the right bank of the Rhine and are working flat out to repair the damage." Shortly before 7 am, the damage had been repaired and the long-distance trains could again travel on the left bank of the Rhine. The long-distance trains had been diverted between Cologne and Koblenz in the early morning hours and had delays of 20 to 90 minutes. DB still expected "slight subsequent delays" after the damage had been repaired.

There were no reports of disruptions to regional traffic on the route. There were no injuries in the accident in Bad Godesberg near Bonn. For regional traffic, the railroad informed commuters and travelers via Twitter about disruptions.

Deutsch Bahn had put repair crews and emergency vehicles on standby in advance to remove storm damage to overhead lines and obstacles in the track bed, such as fallen trees or parts of roofs, tarpaulins and debris.

The German Weather Service (DWD) had issued a statewide storm warning for North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday. A meteorologist had advised that anyone who had the opportunity to work from home should take advantage of it.

(Orig. text: ga/dpa; Translation: ck)