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Damaged homes and flooded streets after thunderstorms sweep across Germany

One of the houses near Hamburg that had to be evacuated with a car sunken into the ground beside it. Photo: DPA

After heavy storms hit regions of the country on Thursday, the fire services responded to some 2,000 emergencies, ranging from streets filled with water to flooded basements.

Just as German meteorologists predicted, heavy rain, wind and hail hit much of the country on the public holiday. Though no injuries were reported due to the weather, northern Germany was particularly hard hit by the storms.

Fire brigades in the north of the country had their work cut out, responding to close to 2,000 calls mainly in Schleswig-Holstein and in the Hamburg area.

On Friday morning in Oststeinbek, a municipality east of Hamburg, cellars full of water were still being pumped. Oststeinbeks historic water mill was also washed out. A few houses had to be evacuated in the vicinity and some of the houses walls had even collapsed. In neighbouring Havighorst, an underground car park was flooded in up to three metres of water.

Havighorst, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: DPA

Emergency services in the state of Hesse also had their hands full on Friday morning. In villages around Fulda, several streets were flooded with water due to the storms. Numerous homes saw their basements flooded too. Police moreover reported that fuel oil had leaked into some houses.

In Thuringia, flooding in cellars – particularly in the southern town of Schönbrunn – has caused an estimated €60,000 in damages.

There were also floods in Goslar in the Harz region of Lower Saxony.

Meanwhile residents of parts of southern Germany had to deal with a downpour of hail rather than rain. In the Bavarian city of Schweinfurt, residents had to get their shovels out due to a thick layer of hail which covered some roads. A hail storm hit the area on Thursday between 4 pm and 5 pm.

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