Storm Ciara Disrupts European Transport, Soccer Matches

By Charlotte Ryan, William Horobin and William Wilkes | February 10, 2020

Hundreds of flights were canceled and trains ground to a halt as Storm Ciara, or Sabine as it’s known in Germany, moved across Europe, shaking parts of the continent with hurricane-strength winds.

Gusts in parts of Germany reached 140 kilometers (87 miles) per hour, the country’s federal weather office said Monday, topping the 120 kilometer an hour-threshold of a Category 1 hurricane. British Airways Plc recorded its fastest ever flight from North America to Europe, clocking in at 4 hours and 56 minutes, while the Queen was forced to cancel her weekly visit to church.

“Hold on tight and don’t go outside unless you have to,” a spokesman for police in Bavaria, Germany, where authorities closed schools and kindergartens, said early Monday on Twitter.

Here’s how the disruption is affecting countries across Europe:


A spokeswoman for London’s Heathrow airport said it had decided to “preemptively consolidate” its schedule on Sunday to minimize disruption. British Airways, which operates more than half of the slots at Heathrow, canceled more than 100 flights and is merging trips to the same destination.

Several areas of northern England were flooded due to heavy rains, the Met Office said. Over 150 flood warnings were still in place Monday.

The Premier League said the soccer match between Manchester City and West Ham was postponed due to the extreme weather.


Hundreds of flights across Germany were canceled Monday and train operator Deutsche Bahn AG told travelers to reschedule planned trips through Tuesday as Sabine raked across Europe’s most populous country overnight, with the industrialized western and southern part hardest hit. Debris hit rail tracks and stretches of Germany’s Autobahn network were also closed, stoking logistics headaches for companies.

German wind power generation was forecast to hit a record high early afternoon Monday, with turbines across the country expected to generate more than 46,000 megawatts of electricity, equivalent to around 30 nuclear power stations operating at full capacity.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s Eurowings suspended flight operations at airports including Hamburg, Berlin and Cologne for the duration of the storm. The airline said its flights may be affected until at least Tuesday morning and advised customers to check the website for updates.

Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart airports all canceled flights and several regions told students not to come to school today.

“Heavy storm spreading from the center to the southeast of the country this morning, sometimes with hurricane-strength winds,” Germany’s federal weather service said in a weather warning.


Meteo France issued an “orange warning” for the north and west of the country, indicating people should avoid travel. They also advised people to stay away from the coast because of exceptionally large waves, with swells as high as 6.6 meters (22 feet) reported off the western France.

Ferry services between Calais and Dover were suspended and French rail operator SNCF canceled some services in the Normandy region. Aeroports de Paris, which operates Charles de Gaulle airport and Paris-Orly, warned of possible delays and said travelers should check with airlines.


About 120 flights were canceled at Schipol airport in Amsterdam. The national football association canceled all games Sunday due to the storm, according to its Twitter page.


Meteorologists warned of possible hurricane-force winds as flights were canceled out of Copenhagen, according to the Press Association.

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