World

Northern Europe braces for gale-force winds and floods

A man walks his dog in a park in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday (Michael Probst/AP)
A man walks his dog in a park in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday (Michael Probst/AP) A man walks his dog in a park in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday (Michael Probst/AP)

Northern Europe is braced for bad weather including gale-force winds from the east, with authorities saying flooding could cause major problems in inland Danish waters and in the Baltic Sea.

Danish broadcaster TV2 said it will likely be the worst flooding in 110 years, and the Danish Meteorological Institute said waves could reach 13 feet along east-facing coasts.

In the UK, the Met Office issued a red alert for parts of Scotland, warning of “exceptional rainfall” on Thursday and Friday, while in Ireland, Storm Babet brought flooding to several towns and villages, with some areas remaining under water and without power.

In Denmark, residents scrambled to place sandbags along exposed areas.

In Assens on the central island of Funen, the Danish Emergency Management Agency was deploying huge rubber tubes in the harbour to counter rising water levels, TV2 said.

Jacob Nissen and Christian Mikkelsen, right, secure their summer house at Sonderballe Strand near Haderslev, southern Denmark
Jacob Nissen and Christian Mikkelsen, right, secure their summer house at Sonderballe Strand near Haderslev, southern Denmark Jacob Nissen and Christian Mikkelsen, right, secure their summer house at Sonderballe Strand near Haderslev, southern Denmark (Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix/AP)

Southern Denmark police urged people along the east coast to leave exposed areas if the weather predictions remain, saying cottages, harbours and other places could be flooded.

Several ferry lines between Danish islands were suspended, as were ferries to Rostock in northern Germany and to Oslo.

In Germany, authorities warned of high water in bays in Schleswig-Holstein, south of the Denmark border, until mid-Saturday.

Employees from The Danish Emergency Management Agency prepare for the storm to arrive at Sonderballe Strand near Haderslev
Employees from The Danish Emergency Management Agency prepare for the storm to arrive at Sonderballe Strand near Haderslev Employees from The Danish Emergency Management Agency prepare for the storm to arrive at Sonderballe Strand near Haderslev (Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix/AP)

Authorities also warned of high water in the next two days on the Baltic Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s northernmost state, with water levels of up to 6.6 feet above average possible in the inlet where the city of Flensburg is located.

Some ferries to the North Sea islands of Foehr and Amrum were delayed or cancelled, German news agency dpa reported.

Norwegian meteorologists said a strong low-pressure area over Great Britain combined with high pressure over northern Scandinavia is creating strong east-northeasterly winds, with ”very strong gusts” expected to hit southern Norway from the east.