Snowstorm Darcy disrupts traffic, Covid-19 testing across the Netherlands and Germany

The Netherlands and parts of Germany were covered on Sunday by a snowstorm that disrupted planes and trains and put some coronavirus samples on hold.

Britain also dropped after heavy snow from what Dutch meteorologists have called Storm Darcy, which packs winds of up to 90 kilometers (55 miles) per hour.

People rushed outdoors to enjoy sledding and playing in the snow in Dutch and German cities despite the bitterly cold conditions with temperatures as low as minus 5 degrees Celsius (23 Fahrenheit).

But Dutch authorities declared a rare “code red” emergency for the whole country as it was hit by its first real snowstorm in more than a decade.

The weather forecast website Weer.nl said that a force-eight wind overnight was measured in combination with snowfall and added: “This officially means a snowstorm in our country”.

“This is the first snowstorm in a long time: the last snowstorm took place in January 2010,” it said.

Dozens of flights were delayed or canceled at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, while the southern Eindhoven airport scrapped all services.

All trains were canceled in the Netherlands, including international services to Germany. Trams were stopped in Amsterdam, while a tram derailed in the snow in The Hague, an AFP reporter saw.

Motorists were urged to avoid traveling and more than 80 cars were reported to have slipped off the road.

Most parts of the country had between five and ten centimeters (two and four inches) of snow, but some areas received 30 centimeters, says the public broadcaster NOS.

Conditions were so severe that the Dutch government had closed all coronavirus test centers for several days.

The Netherlands and parts of Germany were covered on Sunday by a snowstorm that disrupted planes and trains and put some coronavirus samples on hold.

Britain also strengthens heavy snow from what Dutch meteorologists have called Storm Darcyhttps: //t.co/TyWH5i1T2B pic.twitter.com/1nOBcBx636

– AFP News Agency (@AFP) February 8, 2021

‘Beasts from the East’

Up to ten days with temperatures below zero during the day are expected in the Netherlands, which raises hopes in the skate-occupied country over which the canals freeze.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said that ice skating will be allowed if the canals freeze for the first time since 2018, but warned Dutch people to observe social distancing and try not to overturn and end up in already congested hospitals.

It is hoped that a 200-kilometer-long skating marathon through eleven cities called the Elfstedentocht can be held for the first time since 1997, however, is on ice due to coronavirus restrictions.

All four football matches in the Dutch top flight Eredivisie on Sunday were canceled, as was a German Bundesliga match.

In Germany, snowfall caused major disruptions to trains and cancellations of services between cities including Hamburg and Hanover.

Thick snow of up to 30 centimeters meanwhile disrupted road traffic, with hundreds of accidents and part of a motorway in North Rhine-Westphalia being closed by police after it was turned into an ice rink.

Several vehicles got stuck under snow piles and their owners had to dig them out with shovels, according to photos on Bild’s website.

Heavier snow of up to 40 centimeters was expected in parts of northern Germany overnight, says the meteorological service DWD.

Belgium, which is also a neighbor of the Netherlands, was lightly dusted by snow but expected a large temperature drop as the week progresses.

In the UK, the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning in the south-east of England for what local media called “The Beast from the East II”.

The first “beast” in 2018 dumped ten days of snow in the UK.

The current warning applies that roads are blocked by deep snow and disturbances in bus, train and air travel.

BRITAIN “began to see the white eyes” of the storm, according to BBC forecasters, adding Manston in Kent, south-east England, had seen 14 inches of snow on Sunday night.

Coronavirus test sites in two counties in eastern England were also forced to turn off the weather, the BBC reported.

(AFP)