Windstorm Cuts Power to Thousands in Northern Europe
Wind storm rips through Europe
Tens of thousands lose power; toppled trees cut traffic, kill driver
The Associated Press, , Jan. 27, 2008
WARSAW, Poland - Strong winds swept across parts of northern and
central Europe on Sunday, toppling trees, downing power lines and causing road and railway disruptions.
In Poland, where strong winds and rain hit large parts of the country overnight, a tree fell onto a passing car in the northeastern region of Masuria, killing the driver and injuring a woman and child, local media reported.
Three other people were injured in separate incidents in Poland during the storm, which caused widespread damage to roofs and electricity outages in some areas, reports said.
In Sweden, a Scandlines passenger ferry traveling from Rostock, Germany, hit a pier in the port of Trelleborg late Saturday as a result of stormy weather in the south of Sweden. The collision left a 60-foot crack in the front of the ferry, a company spokesman said.
All passengers were evacuated safely and no one was injured, Scandlines spokesman Jens Henrik Nybo said.
In Austria, wind gusts reached 75 miles per hour in northern and eastern parts of the country, according to the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics. Downed power lines left around 100,000 customers without electricity, the Austria Press Agency reported.
The outages forced most ski resorts in Upper Austria to suspend or cut back on their lift operations.
Two employees at a McDonald's restaurant in the southern city of Graz were hit by parts of a roof that had blown loose and were hospitalized with serious head injuries Sunday morning, Austrian broadcaster ORF reported.
In Lower Austria, some 1,200 firefighters worked overnight to clear debris and to bring two small forest fires under control, APA reported. One of the blazes started when two downed electricity wires collided, setting fire to foliage and tree branches, police said.
In the southern province of Styria, authorities had to close several roads and tunnels on a major highway on Sunday morning because of storm damage. Train traffic was also interrupted, in part due to damage to overhead lines.
In the Czech Republic, trees fell onto tracks and halted traffic on a major railway route to neighboring Poland and Slovakia in the eastern part of the country early in the day, causing delays of up to 4 1/2 hours. Hundreds of people lost electricity in that region, Czech media reported.
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