Severe Storms Cause Chaos in Upper Austria and Salzburg

Severe Storms Cause Chaos in Upper Austria and Salzburg

Photo: Storm Science Austria
Photo: Storm Science Austria

Hurricane-like storm eruptions and heavy rain kept emergency services busy on Saturday evening. In Linz, six people were injured by a falling branch during a street festival. In total, more than 2,500 firefighters were deployed in the federal state due to the storm. On the lakes in Salzburg, there were several incidents involving water sports enthusiasts who did not manage to reach the shore in time. Some events were also affected by the storms.

In Upper Austria, the front hit mainly the northern part of the state. About 175 fire brigades were called to approximately 200 operations, according to the state fire brigade command, which had been reinforced in advance as a precaution since the storms were expected. Around 2,550 emergency personnel were engaged in handling emergency calls, clearing fallen trees, covering roofs temporarily, and removing other storm damages.

A severe storm front also swept over the Salzburg Flachgau and Tennengau regions in the evening. It seems to have caught bathers and water sports enthusiasts by surprise, or the storm warning lights, which were operational, were not heeded or noticed too late. The water rescue service was very busy: a boat capsized on Hintersee, and a boat had to be salvaged on Mattsee. On Wiestal reservoir, two stand-up paddlers managed to save themselves to shore, albeit at a hardly accessible spot. They were picked up by the water rescue service with a motorboat. All incidents ended without injuries. In light of the incidents, the water rescue service appealed to the public to immediately seek the nearest shore as soon as the orange warning lights started blinking.

In Linz, six people were injured during a street festival. According to the police, they had apparently sought shelter under a tree when a branch broke off. In total, the fire brigade in Linz alone had to deal with around 50 storm-related operations.

Many other events were also affected by the storms, though less dramatically: the camping site of the Electric Love Festival in Salzburg was evacuated as a precaution on Saturday. At a festival in Kirchdorf, Upper Austria, a minibus was severely damaged by a falling branch, but no one was injured. The Salzkammergut Open Air in Gmunden was preemptively moved to the early evening.

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