Storms contaminate Zurich water and hinder air traffic

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.

This content was published on May 31, 2018 - 15:19
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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.

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.

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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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