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Storm Cologne: Schools closed, daycare centers remain open


Köln –

Heavy thunderstorms swept over Cologne on Friday afternoon – combined with heavy rain, hail and heavy, sometimes hurricane-force gusts.

Schools in Cologne have been closed since 11.30 a.m. – daycare centers are open

The schools in Cologne have been closed since 11.30 a.m., the Cologne district government ordered this in the morning. This is to ensure that the students can get home before the storm comes home unscathed, the district government said on request. However, the Abitur exams scheduled for Friday would still take place, the district government continues.

No closures were ordered for kindergartens in Cologne. The city of Cologne has asked the management of its daycare center to recommend that parents pick up their children “promptly” because of the announced storm. However, there is no obligation for the parents to do so, emphasized a city spokeswoman and made it clear: “The daycare centers remain open in accordance with the contract, it is the responsibility of the parents when they pick up their children.” Unlike primary school students, who are independent depending on their age going home or driving, day-care center children would usually be picked up by their parents anyway.

Cemeteries and Cologne Zoo closed

For security reasons, the forest botanical garden, the botanical garden/flora, Finkens Garten and the Lindenthaler Tierpark have been closed since 12 noon, the city announced on Friday afternoon. The Cologne Zoo and the Aquarium close at 3 p.m., the entrance is already closed.

In addition, the municipal cemeteries will probably remain closed from 4 p.m. until Saturday (May 21). They are to be reopened after damage control.

Roncalli cancels performance on Friday afternoon

The Circus Roncalli, which is currently making a guest appearance with its tent on the Neumarkt in Cologne, has canceled its afternoon show due to the announced storm.

For the unusual performances – the afternoon performance did not take place on Thursday – according to Roncalli spokesman Arnd Wedeking, there will be two special performances next Saturday at 11 a.m. and on Sunday at 6 p.m. “If you can’t make it to the dates, you can rebook for a performance in another city.”

The circus provides information about short-term cancellations due to the storm on its website and via social media, and there is also a hotline.

Events of the mobility trade fair Polismobility partially cancelled

After the cancellation of the supporting program of the mobility fair Polismobility on Thursday, the city also canceled the outdoor events on Friday at 2 p.m. and wants to provide information at short notice if other events planned for the afternoon or evening have to be canceled. (og/ts /red)

Severe weather on Thursday – 100 fire brigade operations

Due to the severe weather warning from the German Weather Service, various events in the city were canceled on Thursday.

The Roncalli circus had to cancel its afternoon and evening events on the Neumarkt. According to Roncalli spokesman Arnd Wedeking, the visitors were already standing in front of the tent for the first show of the day and had to be sent home. The city had asked the circus to cancel the performances with reference to safety.

Storm front south town

Dark storm clouds are moving over Cologne, photographed from the southern part of the city.

The new pop-up beer garden on the Rhein-Energie site also remained closed. The electricity supplier announced this on Instagram in the late afternoon.

Fire brigade called to 100 missions

The fire brigade was called to around 100 weather-related operations. The focal points included flooded basements, loose roof tiles and scaffolding, broken branches and fallen trees on roads and railway tracks.

Tree fallen Cologne

A tree has fallen on Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer.

A crane fell on a house in Longerich. Nobody was injured. All of the volunteer fire brigade’s equipment houses have now been occupied, and the last operations are currently being processed. A total of around 280 full-time and voluntary workers were deployed throughout the city.

Disturbances at the KVB

Some KVB buses and trains did not run regularly due to catenary damage. Information on current disruptions can be found here.

Supporting program of the mobility fair Polismobility cancelled

The supporting program of the mobility trade fair Polismobility, which was to take place in the open air, was also affected by the storm. This includes both the “Poliscamp” on Rudolfplatz and the “Cityhub” between Richard-Wagner-Strasse and Friesenplatz. The “best practice tours” also had to be cancelled.

The planned open-air concerts on Eberplatz could not take place because of the weather. The city of Cologne announced this on Twitter.


  1. Daycare centers remain open – zoos, animal parks and cemeteries closed
  2. Severe weather on Thursday – 100 fire brigade operations



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