vendredi, janvier 19, 2007

Surviving Kyrill

Storm wind warnings were the norm yesterday. In Luxembourg fonctionnaires were let off work early in order that they avoid communting during the peak hours of the storm. In neighbouring France and Germany schools and public parks were closed, many flights were cancelled and high-speed trains switched to low speed as a safety precaution. Surely many of you must have read about Hurricane Kyrill that has swept through Western Europe with a vengeance.

HK's path has been a reminder of the West-East divisions pre-Cold War since once again it was first the founding members of the EU that found themselves in the news (maybe we heard a little less from the Duchy.... but that's no change). By late night and early this morning Poland was the first of the new entrants to feel the brunt of the wind (with some casualties already being reported). It thus became ironic that the BBC news report ended with the statement:

The winds are only expected to weaken once they reach Russia and the Ukraine.

A bit like Euro-enthusiasm, the strength of this cold front is lost by the time it reaches the borders of the Union. Of course this is just a fantastical metaphor and we all know that a bit like Global Warming, questions about the EU are constantly being made across the Old Continent... wind or no wind.

Here in the Duchy the howling winds seem to have lessened though they do not seem to be anywhere near the vanishing point. From my vantage point over the Parc de Merl I can still see the trees wiggle and shake in their very woody rock and roll fashion. Rain is still a constant and the temperature is not that low. Luxembourg news is slow in the coming though I can reproduce the snippet from those lads at

The storm which is currently passing across Europe swept down from the British Isles and crossed Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, the Czech Republic and othe countries yesterday. In Luxembourg, the emergency services received around 450 calls of which 250 concerned trees being damaged, blown over or uprooted. Winds were strong, with the highest recorded speed being 115 km/h at Troisvierges. Many roads were closed, cellars and roads became flooded, rooves were damaged and an increase in traffic accidents was reported. The swimming pool in Mondercange was damaged, and an Marnach the storm ripped a whole roof off a house. The Esso petrol station in Gaichel had to fight against flooding. The Attert river in Reichlingen und Bissen was at dangerously high levels. The "Inspection du Travail et des Mines" warned against working and operating machinery outdoors, and forbid the use of cranes during the day. Many flights coming in and out of Luxembourg airport were cancelled or experienced delays, due to the high winds. The storm is expected to abate during today (Friday).
I leave you with this image... of high winds at the Three Virgins (Troisvierges), rooves (sic) being damaged, 250 phone calls concerning trees, a warning against working and a petrol station battling its way against the oppressive flooding.

Ah Luxembourg... never a dull moment.

*image "borrowed" from BBC News

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