Snow, Ice Disrupt Transport in Central, Northern Europe

BERLIN (AP) -- Transport disruption in Germany and the Netherlands persisted into a second day on Monday as heavy snowfall and icy temperatures gripped parts of central and northern Europe. Some Dutch children's return to school after a coronavirus lockdown was delayed.

Trucks got stuck in snowdrifts overnight on the A4 highway near Gera in eastern Germany, while part of the A7 highway near Goettingen in northern Germany was closed after trucks became stuck on uphill stretches, news agency dpa reported.

Railway operator Deutsche Bahn said services remained suspended across parts of central and northern Germany, with no long-distance trains running northeast from Frankfurt, west from Berlin or southwest from Hamburg.

Dutch railway operator NS said a very limited service was expected in the Netherlands on Monday.

Heavy snow overnight also snarled transport in the Czech Republic. International trains faced hours of delays while numerous Monday morning commuter trains to Prague had to be canceled. Trams and buses in the capital also were disrupted.

The D1 highway that links Prague with the country's second-largest city, Brno, was blocked in several places by trucks while an accident halted traffic on the D8 highway leading from Prague to Germany.

Monday was supposed to be the day hundreds of thousands of Dutch children returned to their elementary schools after a tough coronavirus lockdown that began before the Christmas holidays.

Instead, for many, it was another day at home as a snow storm that hit the Netherlands on Sunday disrupted travel around the nation.

Rien Spies, a board member of an organization that runs 24 elementary schools near Amsterdam, told NOS Radio 1 that those schools would remain closed Monday “because the expectation was for chaos on the roads and public transport.”