Bavaria’s Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann on the snow chaos in southern Bavaria

December 3, 2023

Bavaria’s Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann on the snow chaos in southern Bavaria: Situation has eased, but the all-clear has not yet been given – Civil Protection Reporting and Situation Centre at the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior also in action

+++ “Some districts in southern Bavaria are currently still affected by the heavy snowfall,” emphasised Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann this morning. Even though the snowfall had subsided in many regions on Saturday evening and the situation was easing noticeably, he did not want to give the all-clear just yet. “The large amounts of wet snow currently weighing on the trees pose a risk that should not be underestimated. Breaking branches or falling ice and trees that give way under the weight are a danger to both motorists and pedestrians.” The fact that nothing worse happened is also thanks to the great work of the emergency services, who have been working non-stop since Friday evening. +++

The Bavarian Ministry of the Interior’s reporting and situation centre for civil protection, which was set up in the middle of the year, had already begun its work on Friday evening in order to coordinate the reports from the individual regions centrally. “In addition to ongoing situation monitoring, information is also evaluated there and made available to all authorities and organisations with security tasks. A smooth exchange of information and a quick overview are essential, also in order to coordinate any relief measures,” explained Herrmann.

According to Herrmann, numerous roads in southern Bavaria are still impassable today due to fallen trees. Overall, however, the situation on the roads had eased considerably and there were only minor accidents last night. The power supply has also largely stabilised again after the masses of snow on Saturday massively disrupted the power supply in some places in the state.

According to the Minister of the Interior, the amount of snow on buildings was also a major challenge. “I am glad that no one was seriously injured by the emergency services during the very dangerous operations on the roofs. After measuring the snow load, they worked hard to clear the snow from roofs in order to prevent collapses.” In Straubing, for example, the roof of the ice rink had to be cleared of snow on Saturday evening. In Weilheim, almost 70 residents were evacuated from a residential building that was in danger of collapsing due to the masses of snow.

There was good news from the district of Bad-Tölz Wolfratshausen. Although the municipality of Jachenau is still cut off from the public transport and road network, it should soon be accessible again. Due to the improved weather conditions, a police helicopter was deployed to the St 2072 state road this morning. “The downdraft from the rotors will free the trees from their snow load. This is important because the heavy snow loads on the trees mean that the road cannot be cleared at the moment due to the high risk of snow breakage,” explained the Minister of the Interior. However, the road will soon have to be reopened for the care of dialysis patients in the town.

Even if the weather improves and there is no more fresh snow today, there is still a lot of work to be done by all the helpers due to the risk of snow breakage. “The many emergency services and volunteers deserve all our appreciation for their courageous and energetic work. I hope that they all return home safe and sound from their missions.”

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