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A9 near Graz diverted by mudslide, flooding

A9 near Graz diverted by mudslide, flooding
Floods in Deutschlandsberg

The southbound lane was closed, and for safety reasons the northbound lane was also closed, according to Asfinag. Civil defense alarms were triggered in Deutschfeistritz, Eggersdorf, Weinitzen and in Nord-Andritz in Graz. The districts of Graz-Umgebung, Hartberg-Fürstenfeld and parts of southeast Styria were affected. A civil defense alarm was also declared in Oberwart in Burgenland.

Within minutes, the water masses caused the heavily swollen Übelbach to overflow the narrow canalized stream bed in Deutschfeistritz and flood the center of the town. Cars were also swept away and became wedged between houses. According to the fire service, several people had to be rescued. The district authorities were examining whether a state of disaster should be declared for parts of the Graz-Umgebung and Hartberg-Fürstenfeld districts.

According to the city council, the districts of Andritz and Mariatrost in Graz were particularly affected, namely the Andritz and Leonhardbach streams and the area around Hilmteich. Civil defense alarms were triggered in these areas and the sirens could be heard in large parts of the city. In some streets, trees fell and blocked the roadway or the overhead tram lines and power lines.

The Styrian State Warning Center advised the population to exercise extreme caution during the night into Sunday, Styria Communications reported. The banks of water bodies in areas affected by heavy rainfall should be avoided, as should the basements of houses. Overall, the greatest caution must be exercised, even if the storms and rainfall themselves subside. On Sunday morning, the sun shone again over large parts of Styria.

A9 closed after 1.5 meter high mudslide

The heavy thunderstorms with persistent heavy rain caused flooding in the greater Graz-Nord area and in the northern part of the Graz-Umgebung district early on Saturday evening. The rain caused a mud and debris avalanche up to 1.5 meters high in the vicinity of the A9 just after the Übelbach junction, which diverted the southbound lane. A short time later, the northbound lane was closed due to the persistent heavy rain. Traffic was diverted in both directions from St. Michael and Deutschfeistritz from 7 p.m.

Asfinag employees and the fire brigade immediately began removing the earth with the help of two excavators. The work is expected to last until Sunday morning. Only then can the route be inspected and it can be determined whether the mudslide has caused damage to the infrastructure, said an Asfinag spokesman. The diversion took place via the Brucker expressway S35 and the Semmering expressway (S6). According to Asfinag, the closure will remain in place at least until Sunday.

Floods in Burgenland

Hotspots in Burgenland were the districts of Mattersburg and Eisenstadt-Umgebung as well as the district of Oberwart. A civil defense warning was issued for the city of Oberwart at 4:14 a.m. on Sunday due to the tense weather conditions with heavy rain and flooding, the state of Burgenland announced on Sunday night. Shortly before midnight, a state of emergency was declared in the entire Oberwart district. The population is being asked not to leave their homes and to avoid low-lying rooms such as cellars and underground garages. Fire services were also deployed in the Güssing district.

Severe weather warning for Tyrol

Storms were also expected in parts of Tyrol. Based on current forecasts, GeoSphere Austria issued an “orange” warning level, the third highest on the four-level scale, until Sunday night. According to the state, storms including heavy rain, hail and gusts of wind were expected in Tyrol, particularly in regions north of the Inn Valley and in the “Greater Wörgl-Kufstein-Fieberbrunn-Hochfilzen area” in the lowlands. But thunderstorms are also likely in the other regions of the state, it said in a press release.

The fire brigades in Lower Austria also had to be deployed, mainly in the south. Klaus Stebal from the regional command reported in the evening in response to an APA inquiry that there had been around 40 operations, mainly pumping out the water.

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