Xaver, the disastrous winter storm has already killed one man in Scotland and is about to hit the German coast. In the Netherlands, they have closed the massive flood barriers protecting the harbours of Rotterdam and Antwerp. Hamburg has closed its airport. In Bremerhaven, they sent a brand new cruise liner, which currently going through its final equipping and furnishing, out to sea, where ironically it will be safer than at the pier. There have been accidents of storms smashing docked ships against the pier before and with a brand-new cruise liner that would be a pricey accident.
Schools and Christmas markets are closed throughout North Germany and many universities are closing as well. Vechta is still open with the decision whether to cancel handed over to the professors. I’m very glad I don’t have to teach today.
Here in Bremen it’s grey and raining and the storm is battering the trees. But we are about eighty kilometers inland, so the main flood danger is the river Weser. And I have quite far from the river and on a little rise, so flooding won’t be a problem here. I’m more worried about roof damage, to be honest. And I’m a bit worried about my Dad who is in Bremerhaven at a shipyard today, though shipyard personnel usually know when it’s time to evacuate.
Here are some photos I just took out of my windows: