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Germany

Heavy Winter Storms Across Germany

Storms with speeds of up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour swept across large parts of Germany on Sunday, causing severe damage in some places and driving away Christmas market visitors. The winds were strongest near the North Sea coast and the Harz mountain range in central Germany. On freeways in the northern German state of Lower Saxony, drivers were pushed against medians by the gusts, causing several car accidents. In the area around the western German town of Gütersloh, hundreds of thousands of people were without electricity for several hours after an electricity pole fell over. The storms also caused Berlin officials to declare a state of emergency for two hours. Firemen in the German capital were called out around 200 times. The storms weakened on Monday and weather forecasters had some good news for many Germans: Snowfall is expected to lead to a white Christmas in large parts of the country.