Copenhagen still struggling after weekend floods

A weekend of monsoon-style rainstorms has left many parts of Copenhagen and eastern Zealand underwater, with violent storms set to continue this week.

Many motorways became impassable after a day of muggy temperatures ended in a huge downpour on Saturday evening; over 150mm fell in just three hours, more rain that Copenhagen usually gets in two months.

The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) also recorded more that 18,600 lightening strikes, while both the Tivoli Amusement Park and the Hovedbanegarden main railway station had to be evacuated.

“There is just one word to describe it, and that is ‘chaos,’” said DR reporter Preben Lund from Hellerup Station on Saturday. He added that commuters had been running across waterlogged train tracks to avoid the exit tunnels which were filled with sewage and rain water.

The following morning, Copenhagen was awash with mud and soaked furniture, with many homeowners and shopkeepers still desperately pumping water out of their basements. Klaus Palskov, of sewage company ABC Kloak og Ejendomsservice, told Politiken that he spent the weekend bailing out local businesses. “There are thousands of dead rats,” he added.

After just a few hours of sunshine on Sunday afternoon, the rains began again, causing more chaos for soggy commuters on Monday morning. Some roads and railway points and signals remained underwater, causing delays in all directions for both cars and trains. DSB train operators said that although a makeshift service has been established, disruptions are likely to continue for the next few days.

Henrik Moller of Copenhagen Police, warned residents to remain vigilant. “It’s important to be aware that manhole covers have been washed away and there are big holes in the roads now because of the water,” he said in a Politken report.