Summer storm leaves streets coated in a foot of hail

A city in Germany was forced to deploy snowploughs after it was hit by a freak summer storm. Reutlingen was coated in a foot of hail after being hit by extreme weather on Saturday.

It comes just weeks after the continent was hit by sweltering weather that caused outbreaks of wildfires and families seeking shelter from the sun. Authorities in the German city say “localised storm with hail and heavy rain” swept over the centre since Friday.

Families living in the city used shovels to attempt to clear the roads, leaving mounds of ice building up on the pavements. One video that emerged on social media shows a postman navigating his heavily-laden bicycle through a stream of melted ice, the rest of the street impassable, .

Officials in the city said the hail was 12 inches thick in places. It meant they had to call in the snowploughs to clear the streets.

Ice mounds in Reutlingen

The Echaz River, which runs through the city, rose by five feet in a matter of minutes, briefly bursting its banks, but there was no major damage to the city. Officials said drainage systems were also blocked by the storm, causing water to pour into underground garages and basements.

Germany itself largely managed to avoid the intense heat that swept southern Europe a matter of weeks ago. However, Bavaria, in the country’s south, still saw temperatures reaching 38C.

Italy, one of the countries hit worst by the extreme heat, also saw the mercury drop to an unseasonably low level on Saturday. The Marmolada mountain in Dolomoties was turned completely white at its peak with thick snow battering the area.

Some residents were spotted venturing out to build snowmen. In Ireland, Storm Antoni brought flash flooding, with more than a dozen homes hit in Dublin.


Ice on the side of the road in Germany

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Eight people were evacuated from their homes using inflatable rescue sleds and one person was taken to hospital, the Dublin Fire Brigade said. One resident said the flooding was “like a tsunami”.

“It just came in [at 9 o’clock], we’d no time to protect ourselves. [We] looked out the window, it was up to your ankle, next thing you know it was up to your knee,” she told the PA news agency.

A team of global experts concluded that, without human-induced climate change, the weather in July would have been “extremely rare”. “European and North American temperatures would have been virtually impossible without the effects of climate change,” said Izidine Pinto of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.


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