Germany's northeastern coast was struck over Wednesday night and into Thursday morning by the worst flooding the region has seen in over ten years. As the water in the Baltic Sea rose to about 1.7 meters (5.5 feet) above its usual level, coastal cities like Lubeck, Rostock, Kiel and Flensburg became impassable, DW wrote.
In Flensburg and Lubeck, the flooding became so severe that parked cars began drifting down the street and threatened parts of Lubeck's World Heritage-listed medieval downtown, which had to be protected with walls of sand bags.
"We can't comment yet on the extent of the damage," said a police spokesman. He added, however, that the city's famous Gothic citadel, the Holsten Gate, had been spared by mother nature.
Read alsoHurricane Matthew kills almost 900 in Haiti before hitting U.S.At beach resorts like on the popular island of Usedom, waterside promenades, stairwells, and food stalls were pulled out to sea. A spokesman for the region said it was "worse than expected."
Overnight, Germany was hit by severe winds and extremely icy conditions as a result of what the weather service has named Storm Axel. Wind speeds of over 123 kilometers per hour (76 mph) and temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) caused numerous traffic accidents and instances of property damage throughout Wednesday night.
Although stormy weather, as well as snow and sleet, were expected to continue in Germany on Thursday, Storm Axel was predicted to sweep eastward across the Baltic to Belarus.