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Wild weather Storms contaminate Zurich water and hinder air traffic

flooded train station

Huge quantities of rain flooded parts of Switzerland, making it a challenge to get around.

(SRF)

Swiss cities and towns are cleaning up after heavy rain and hail flooded streets and houses on Wednesday night.

As of Thursday afternoon, Swiss insurer Allianz Suisse had estimated the overall damage to flooded buildings and hail-hit vehicles at CHF4 million ($4 million). 

In Zurich on Wednesday night, fire brigades answered 700 calls for help, and drinking water was polluted in two communities. Concerns about severe lightning caused a 30-minute shutdown at Zurich Airport.

Lightning

lightning

The cantons of Aargau and Zurich, as well as eastern Switzerland, were particularly hard hit. Streams overflowed their banks and trees fell over. Hail and water filled streets and penetrated hundreds of homes, cellars and underground garages – as well as a chemical plant and an indoor swimming pool in Dielsdorf. In addition, trains between Dielsdorf and Niederweningen were disrupted. 

In Schöfflisdorf and Oberweningen, citizens have been instructed to use as little tap water as possible and to boil it before drinking it or using it to prepare food.

+ It has been a very warm spring in Switzerlandexternal link

According to Swiss meteorologists, the storm brought four centimetres of hailstones and tens of thousands of lightning bolts, and nearly 80 millimetres of rain in Ehrendingen – two thirds of what normally falls in the whole month of May.

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hail and flooding

SDA/ATS, swissinfo.ch, sm

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