Storms cause damage and travel disruption throughout Austria

The Local Austria
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Storms cause damage and travel disruption throughout Austria
Storm clouds gather above the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria. Photo: Karsten Würth/Unsplash

A severe weather front with gusts of wind, hail, and rain swept over Tirol, Styria, Lower Austria and parts of Burgenland on Tuesday, causing isolated damage, local power outages, and road and railway closures.


Storms of up to 161 kilometres per hour swept through Tirol, causing damage to buildings, railway lines and local power cuts.

According to the regional-owned network operator Tinetz, around 10,000 customers were still without electricity around 7:30pm on Tuesday.

In Andreas-Hofer Strasse in Innsbruck, a roof was torn off by a gust of wind, and a tram's overhead line was destroyed as a result. In the Tiroler Oberland, trees were reported to have fallen onto the highway.

In total, there were over 500 fire department operations throughout the region, mainly due to fallen trees.

In the Zillertal Arena, according to ORF Tirol, gondolas came to a standstill. A total of 1,400 to 1,600 people were stuck on the mountain, but all were eventually brought down safely.

In the municipality of Silz, a civil defence warning was temporarily issued due to strong thunderstorms with gusts of wind. According to the mayor of Silz, the warning was due to flying debris from roofs that had been blown off.

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In the state of Salzburg, two cable cars came to a halt on Tuesday afternoon due to fallen trees after a heavy thunderstorm. In Wagrain (Pongau), 144 people had to be rescued from gondolas in a major operation, and in Uttendorf (Pinzgau), there were 13 passengers trapped in the gondola of the Weißsee-Gletscherbahn in the Hohe Tauern. By the evening, the fire departments had been called to nearly 100 operations in 27 places, according to the State Warning Centre.


In the late afternoon, the severe weather front also caused significant damage in Carinthia and in Styria and parts of Burgenland, with sometimes heavy showers and thunderstorms. According to the emergency services, trees were uprooted and roofs were blown off in numerous regions, such as the Ennstal in the Liezen district.

Disruption to travel in Tirol

As a result of the storm-related damage, many train routes and highways will continue to be affected on Wednesday. 

The train service from Tirol to Vorarlberg remains interrupted due to storm damage on the route between Landeck-Zams and Telfs-Pfaffenhofen.

Similarly, the Brenner route between Steinach and the Brenner was still inaccessible for trains in the morning. However, a rail replacement service with buses is available.


On the roads, both the L16 Pitztalstraße between Wenns and Jerzens and the B186 Ötztalstraße in the Astlehn district (municipality of Längenfeld) will remain closed in both directions due to the threat of landslides resulting from heavy thunderstorms.

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State geologists are on-site to assess the situation and determine if additional safety measures are required or if the roads can be reopened to traffic. The B180 Reschenstraße between Ried i.O. and Tösens (Landeck district) is also closed as a precaution.

In the Tiroler Oberland, disruptions are expected on the train line from Telfs-Pfaffenhofen towards Imst-Pitztal. The latest information from ÖBB indicates that a rail replacement service will be provided for local and long-distance traffic on the affected route.

In Carinthia and Styria, the Ennstalbundesstraße (B320) had to be closed in some sections due to cleanup work. According to the Liezen District Fire Brigade Command, numerous trees had fallen onto the B320 due to strong gusts of wind. Hotspots included Mandling, Schladming, Oberhaus, Haus, Ruperting, Gröbming, and Stainach. 


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