Storm 'Xavier' Kills 9, Shuts Down Transportation In Northern Europe

Pam Wright
Published: October 6, 2017

A storm bearing hurricane-strength gusts of wind knocked down trees and killed at least nine in northern Europe.

According to the Associated Press, high winds from the storm dubbed Xavier killed seven people Thursday in Germany and two in Poland on Friday.

Officials say the storm knocked out power to tens of thousands of households in Poland after falling trees brought down power lines.

In Poland, the storm was responsible for the death of a 67-year-old man trying to secure the roof to his house and a 58-year-old woman, who was killed by a falling tree.  

On Thursday, the storm was responsible for the death of 54-year-old Sylke Tempel, a prominent journalist and political expert, the Berliner Zeitung reported.

A truck driver was also among the victims when a tree fell on his vehicle near Rostock. Four others were killed in Brandenburg, and a woman was killed in Berlin from a falling tree.

Gusts of up to 75 mph were reported in Berlin by the storm, prompting the grounding of numerous flights at the city's two airports. Public transportation was also temporarily shut down in the city, and in Wilhelmshaven, a 1,102-pound crane was toppled by the high winds.

According to meteorologist Linda Lam, a strong low-pressure system moved through Germany and Poland on Thursday with strong winds and heavy rainfall.

"This system will continue tracking through Russia into Saturday," Lam said. "Behind this area of low pressure, cool and breezy conditions will end the week in Germany and Poland, along with the chance of a few showers."

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At the height of the storm, a high-speed train was evacuated at the border of the Netherlands and Germany. The 400 passengers aboard the train were transported to a nearby gymnasium.

Berliner Zeitung reports that more than 2,100 emergency calls were received by the Berlin Fire Brigade as a result of the storm.

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