Photos: Friederike kills 8, becomes strongest windstorm in 11 years to strike Germany

By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist
January 19, 2018, 1:08:24 PM EST

The death toll from Thursday's damaging windstorm Friederike has risen to 11 across central Europe with eight of them killed in Germany.

Strong winds from Friederike blasted areas from northern France into Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany on Thursday, causing extensive travel delays, damage and several deaths.

Friederike is being called the worst windstorm to strike Germany since Kyrill in 2007, according to the country's weather service.

At least 11 deaths have been reported across three countries (Belgium, Germany and Netherlands) and attributed to the storm, according to the AP.

Most of the deaths, eight total, occurred in Germany. Dozens more sustained injuries.

A 65-year-old man in Germany's Saxony-Anhalt state died when trying to secure his roof. The winds downing trees and branches and causing motorists to lose control of their vehicles are being blamed for the other deaths.

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A man who escaped unharmed makes a phone call after his scooter was hit by a crashing tree uprooted by heavy winds in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Some of the strongest wind gusts were found across coastal parts of northern France, to Belgium, Netherlands and Germany, ranging from 85 to 125 km/h (53 to 78 mph).

Wind speeds of this magnitude are enough to cause structural damage, topple trees and disrupt travel; and they did.

Wind gusts to 120 km/h (75 mph) were reported at the Schiphol Airport, in Amsterdam on Thursday. This prompted the suspension of all flights around midday at the airport, according to the Independent.

The Dutch national rail service also halted all trains.

The Dutch Association of Insurers estimates that damage to homes and cars will amount to at least 90 million euros ($110 million USD), according to the Netherlands news agency NOS. That figure does not include damage estimates to government property and companies.

Deutsche Bahn halted long-distance train traffic across all of Germany on Thursday. Travel resumed on Friday in many areas, but passengers were warned of delays due to damage on tracks.

The Cologne-Bonn airport also suspended flights for a time on Thursday due to the wintry weather and gusting winds.

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Wind was not the only thing causing problems across western Europe. The storm brought a wave of snow across parts of Germany, ahead of the wind and before changing over to rain.

The snow created icy road conditions that proved challenging for drivers, and the weight of the snow on tree branches, in addition to the gusty winds brought widespread damage.

Up to 100,000 people lost electricity in Germany, according to Deutsche Welle.

Even though Friederike has departed, the effects to travel could linger even longer.

"Fallen trees or damage on railways will need to be cleaned off before train schedules can return to normal," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.

Two storms will follow Friederike -- one on Saturday and Saturday night with the second on Monday --and can slow storm cleanup operations across Germany.

"While these storms will be weaker than Friederike, there may be enough snow and ice on the northern and eastern flanks of these storms to once again disrupt travel," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

"Winds will pale in comparison to Thursday's damaging gusts. However, there may be enough wind on Monday to down tree branches weakened by Friederike."

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An agricultural building is collapsed during a heavy storm in Meimbressen, central Germany, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Uwe Zucchi)

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Rescue workers try to remove a tree from an ICE train of Deutsche Bahn stands on the rail track near Lamspringe between Hannover and Goettingen, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Swen Pfoertner)

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A truck crashed during heavy storms at the motorway A 71 near Erfurt, central Germany, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

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A snow plow clears the road up to the Feldberg mountain near Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

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