Snow, ice disrupt transport in Germany, Netherlands

BERLIN (AP) — Transport disruption in Germany and the Netherlands persisted into a second day yesterday as heavy snowfall and icy temperatures gripped parts of central and northern Europe. Dutch children’s return to school after a COVID-19 lockdown was delayed.

Trucks got stuck in snowdrifts overnight on the A4 highway near Gera in eastern Germany, while part of the A7 highway near Goettingen in northern Germany was closed after trucks became stuck on uphill stretches, reported German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Railway operator Deutsche Bahn said services remained suspended across parts of central and northern Germany, with no long-distance trains running northeast from Frankfurt, west from Berlin or southwest from Hamburg.

Meanwhile, Dutch railway operator NS said a “very limited service” was expected in the Netherlands yesterday.

Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Dutch children were to return to their elementary schools after a tough coronavirus lockdown that began before the Christmas holidays.

Instead, for many, it was another day at home as a snow storm that hit the Netherlands on Sunday disrupted travel around the nation.

Rien Spies, a board member of an organisation that runs 24 elementary schools near Amsterdam, told NOS Radio One that those schools would remain closed “because the expectation was for chaos on the roads and public transport”.

Cars and trucks are stuck in a traffic jam in snowfall on the snowy Autobahn 4 near Dresden, Germany. PHOTO: AP