‘Catastrophic’ weather topples crane in Austria

Hundreds of firemen continued to battle “catastrophic” weather conditions in parts of Austria over the weekend as the rain became so severe it brought down a crane on a building site.

'Catastrophic' weather topples crane in Austria
FF Gratwein

Fire services were called out to large parts of Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Styria and Burgenland to pump water out from streets, houses and car parks as well as removing upturned trees from roads.

Photo: FF Judendorf-Straßengel

“Pure chaos” was how one fire service commander described the scene in the municipality of Grünbach in Freistadt, Upper Austria, which was hit by nearly 25 litres of rain per square metre over Saturday and Sunday morning.

“It is catastrophic here,” commander Roman Primetzhofer told the ORF, adding that the fire service were unable to use their vehicles due to the water unhinging many of the manhole covers.

Hundreds of firemen were called out in Styria where in the market town of Gratwein-Straßengel the rain was strong enough to cause a crane to topple over.

“It could have ended fatally, had the crane fallen in another direction. Then it would have fallen in the middle of a settlement,” said fire department spokesman Roman Hussnigg.

Lightning strikes also set fire to a 140-metre-high wind turbine in the Energy Park near Parndorf in Burgenland. Firemen were quickly on the scene but the fire had already been put out by the rain by the time they arrived.

A flooded home in Parndorf. Photo: FF Parndorf.

Although in most areas the weather had calmed by Sunday, in Vienna a storm early Sunday evening interrupted the Rock in Vienna music festival, although it resumed when super group Iron Maiden came on as the headline act.

It came just days after a rock festival in Germany was cancelled due to lightning strikes that hurt around 80 fans.

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Weather: Vienna to bake in scorching temperatures on Friday

Friday is set to be one of the hottest days of the year – so far – in Vienna and parts of Austria, with temperatures forecast to rise to as high as 37 degrees by the afternoon. Here's what to expect in the coming days.

Weather: Vienna to bake in scorching temperatures on Friday

Vienna is expected to be the hottest place in Austria on Friday, although maximum temperatures are only forecast to be slightly lower – 35C – in the eastern Austrian regions of Burgenland, Lower Austria and Styria, according to the forecast by meteorology institute ZAMG.

It will be coolest in the far west, with highs of 29-32C forecast for Voralberg.

In the most eastern parts of the country, it should be sunny and hot all day, but over in the west, clouds are forecast to form over Austria’s mountains from midday, with heavy showers and thunderstorms from the Silvretta to western Upper Styria expected.

Heading into Friday evening, there is a higher chance of thunderstorms from Lake Constance to Upper Austria, with only the south-east and far eastern parts of the country forecast set to remain dry.

Temperatures will drop to 17C in the west overnight, but remain milder at around 21C in the more eastern parts of the country.

Cooler weekend
Temperatures will be significantly lower over the weekend as storms move in, pushing temperatures down to 22-29C. The south-east of the country will be warmest, ZAMG said.

Most of the country will see storms on Saturday, although outside of the mountains, clouds and rain are expected to lift, and some areas may even see some sunny spells.

Sunday will start off dry, but isolated showers and storms are expected from midday over Austria’s mountains and in the south.

Elsewhere, it should be dry and mostly sunny.

Temperatures are forecast to reach highs of between 22-29C.

And we’re not going to see Friday’s baking-hot weather replicated at the start of next week, either.

It will be changeable on Monday, with showers and cloud cover expected across much of the country, except the far west and in the north.

Some clouds will remain on Tuesday, but it should be mostly sunny across the country, with temperatures climbing to highs of 26-28C, still well below this Friday’s peaks.