Heavy snowfall and freezing rain disrupt transport in Scandinavia and Germany

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Hundreds of flights canceled in Frankfurt, while Oslo airport temporarily closes due to bad weather. Other parts of Scandinavia face public transport delays and road closures.

ANNOUNCEMENT

Heavy snow and freezing rain hit parts of northern and central Europe on Wednesday, blocking transport in some Scandinavian regions and causing major disruptions at airports in Frankfurt and Oslo.

At Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s busiest freezing rain forced takeoffs to be halted, German news agency dpa reported. The airport cited the danger of de-iced planes re-icing as they taxi to the runway. Some departures resumed in the afternoon when the rain eased. Hundreds of flights had already been cancelled.

The airport in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, was temporarily closed as heavy snow reduced visibility for pilots. Airport spokeswoman Ylva Celius Trulsen said the huge amount of snow and wind hampering traffic was “very unusual” and the resulting closure was “extremely rare.” The airport reopened later Wednesday.

Heavy snow brought traffic to a standstill across much of Scandinavia, with roads and highways clogged with stranded motorists, delays in public transport, cancellations of some ferry routes and closures of some bridges. Police in several parts of Denmark have urged people to stay at home. Southern Sweden also recorded heavy snowfall.

Freezing rain that hit western and southern Germany on Wednesday morning caused numerous accidents on icy roads. As a precaution, many schools and nurseries have closed and some companies have offered employees the option to work from home.

National rail operator Deutsche Bahn has canceled several long-distance trains and announced that the top speed of its ICE high-speed trains will be limited to 200 kilometers per hour for the day as a precaution.

The small airport in Saarbrücken has closed for today, there have been delays and cancellations in Munich and elsewhere.

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