Heavy thunder, wind and heavy rain shocked many Upper Austrians from their sleep on Friday night when a storm front reached the state shortly after midnight. Fortunately, however, there was no major damage: the state fire brigade command only recorded seven missions. It was an “almost normal night”, the association said.
However, the storm led to a tricky situation in Schwanenstadt (Vöcklabruck district): There, a short, violent gust of wind damaged the anchoring of the maypole in such a way that the 36.6-meter-high tree became crooked and threatened to tip over – and that in the middle of the town square .
“The maypole leaned in the direction of residential buildings,” says Walter Pfeiffer, commander of the Schwanenstadt fire brigade, which managed the operation together with colleagues from Vöcklabruck. “If it had fallen, it would probably have scraped the buildings and fallen onto the parked cars. So we had to use a crane and telescopic mast to lower the tree.”
Before that, the town square was cleared for security reasons: vehicle owners were notified and asked to drive away their cars, some cars were towed away because the owners could not be reached, and night owls had to leave the square.
Incidentally, the maypole is no longer erected: “It had to be done quickly because we didn’t know how the weather would develop,” says Pfeiffer. “So we split it in two.”