Electrical storms batter Germany, closing airport

30th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 June 2005, HAMBURG - Severe electrical storms swept across Germany Thursday after overnight wind-driven deluges that closed Frankfurt airport and damaged the stadium where next year's World Cup soccer final will be played.

30 June 2005

HAMBURG - Severe electrical storms swept across Germany Thursday after overnight wind-driven deluges that closed Frankfurt airport and damaged the stadium where next year's World Cup soccer final will be played.

Severe weather alerts were in effect Thursday across a broad band stretching from the Dutch border in the northwest to the Austrian border in the southeast. Thunderstorms packing winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour and flood-spawning rains were predicted to reach Berlin by nightfall.

Frankfurt's international airport was back in business Thursday after an electrical storm forced Europe's biggest air hub to close for about 45 minutes late Wednesday.

Frankfurt's Waldstadion, venue for the 2006 World Cup final, developed severe leaks at the height of the storm during an internationally broadcast Confederations Cup match.

Following multimillion-dollar renovations, the stadium now has a state of the art roof that can be opened and closed as per weather requirements and is then neatly folded away in a basket hanging over the middle of the pitch.

But far from being rain proof, the roof developed leaks all over and the high-tech concept of pipes draining the rain from the roof and allowing it to escape on the sides did not work.

As a result areas of the field turned into muddy pitches, where buckets of water came pouring through holes in the roof.

Experts on Thursday were inspecting the roof in preparation for hurried repairs.

DPA

Subject: German news

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