Dozens of stuck trucks, a rescue operation from a suspension railway and major problems in rail traffic: a heavy snowstorm has caused traffic chaos in parts of Germany.
In some places more than 30 centimeters of snow fell and there were meter-high drifts.
Police and fire brigade drove countless missions.
There were major restrictions on regional and long-distance rail services.
Football games have also been canceled.
And according to the German Weather Service (DWD), it wasn't.
In parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Hesse and Saxony-Anhalt, the DWD's highest warning level continued to apply on Sunday.
According to the experts, the expected weather development at this warning level is "extremely dangerous".
“Life-threatening situations can arise and great damage and destruction can occur.
Often larger areas are affected.
Avoid staying outdoors.
Behave very carefully and inform yourself regularly about the development of the dangerous weather situation.
In any case, follow any instructions given by the authorities, law enforcement and auxiliary staff.
Prepare for extraordinary measures, ”it says on the DWD website.
The highest warning level applies to these districts
City of Bielefeld
District of Coesfeld
District of Gütersloh
City of Hamm
District of Herford
District of Höxter
District of Lippe
City of Munster
District of Paderborn
District of Soest
District of Unna
District of Warendorf
district and city of Kassel
District Harz - Lowland
District Harz - Bergland
As of February 7, 6:08 p.m.
The heavy onset of winter brought the clearance services to their limits in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example.
The police had to block highways as smooth as glass, there were hundreds of accidents, and trains were canceled due to iced overhead lines.
Buses stood still in many places.
Cars got stuck in deep drifts of snow.
Two clearing vehicles on the A12 motorway near the Müllrose junction in Brandenburg
Source: ZB / Patrick Pleul
Snow drifts also made the Salzgitter motorway triangle impassable in places.
The traffic to the north was diverted from the Autobahn 7 at the Bockenem junction, the autobahn was closed, as the Hildesheim autobahn police announced.
Several trucks got stuck, and parking spaces for vans would also become scarce.
Bundesliga game canceled
On the Autobahn 2 in the direction of Berlin near Peine, a truck tipped over on its side.
Nobody was injured - the transporter will be recovered as soon as the weather improves, said a spokesman for the Braunschweig motorway police.
The motorway maintenance depots “clear what they can”.
The Bundesliga game between Arminia Bielefeld and Werder Bremen planned for the evening has been canceled.
The place was not playable, it was said by the German Football League.
The second division game Paderborn against Heidenheim was not played either.
People freed from suspension railway in Wuppertal
In Wuppertal, emergency services freed six people from a suspension railway.
According to the fire brigade, the train could no longer run due to the icy weather and stopped.
The passengers were freed from lofty heights with turntable ladders and were uninjured.
Because of the large amount of snow, a circus tent collapsed in Hagen.
13 animals were rescued.
A tram with a snow plow from the 1960s stands on the snow-covered tracks at the town hall in Cottbus
Source: dpa / Patrick Pleul
Truck traffic in East Hesse came to a temporary standstill on Sunday night.
More than 55 articulated trucks were unable to negotiate the gradients there due to the slippery road surface and their weight.
The restrictions on rail traffic were sometimes massive: there were no trains between Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia and between Hamburg and Hanover, for example.
There are restrictions between Hamburg and Berlin, Deutsche Bahn announced on its website.
Rail traffic will also be significantly restricted on Monday.
Restrictions on the train
On Sunday afternoon, the railway said that the worsening weather situation was currently causing further restrictions in long-distance traffic in the Erfurt railway junction.
There were therefore no trains from Frankfurt / Main and Kassel to the east.
On the connection Halle / Leipzig / Magdeburg there are further failures of the long-distance lines.
"In Lower Saxony, Bremen and especially in the greater Hanover area there is no easing of the situation," it said.
For stranded travelers, the railway set up so-called residence trains - to warm up.
A thick layer of snow covers parked cars in Hanover
Source: dpa / Hauke-Christian Dittrich
Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) advised those affected by the snow chaos in Germany to stay at home at the beginning of the week.
Scheuer said after a briefing on Sunday at "Bild live" that one could not guarantee that the rail traffic would be up and running again on Monday.
The wind causes "mega-moderate" problems, especially with snow drifts.
The motorways and the train are also affected.
That means: "Better to stay at home" in consultation with the employer, said the minister.
The capital airport BER had to face its first tough winter test at the weekend.
"We clear, clear, clear," said an airport spokeswoman on Sunday in Berlin.
A total of 40 special vehicles and devices are in use against snow and ice.
An area of 350 hectares will be cleared on the northern runway, taxiways and apron.
40 employees are on the move per shift.
By Sunday afternoon everything went smoothly, said the spokeswoman.
Only some flights would have been delayed between ten and 45 minutes due to the clearance work.
Airplanes had to be de-iced.
The clearing services - here in Bielefeld - are in constant use
Source: dpa / Friso Gentsch
Low "Tristan" over Central Europe and the Central Mediterranean, in combination with high "Gisela" over Scandinavia, brings more icy air.
"After the snowy and windy weekend, the great cold is coming from the east," said meteorologist Simon Trippler from the DWD on Sunday.
Snow must continue to be expected, but it does not fall as intensely as on the weekend.
A tram drives through the snow on Bölschestrasse in Berlin Friedrichshagen
Source: dpa / Kira Hofmann
On Tuesday, the snowfall will mostly subside, except on the coast.
For the nights, the meteorologists predict freezing cold, often with severe frost below minus ten degrees.
Locally, especially over snow surfaces, temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees are “quite possible”.