Denmark, Germany and Poland – Storm Surge Causes Coastal Flooding

Storm surge has caused flooding on Germany’s north east coast, north western Poland and in coastal areas of Denmark.

In Germany, storm Axel increased sea levels to more than 1.70 metres above normal in Wismar. In Denmark, sea levels reached 1.73 metres above normal in areas along the coast of Syddanmark and Sjælland regions. The port of Świnoujście in north western Poland also reported some flooding.


In Germany, the northern states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Jurgen Holfert of Germany’s Federal Office for Shipping and Hydrography said that “it was the strongest storm surge since 2006,” news agency dpa reported.

Some, mostly minor, flood damage was reported in Rostock, Lübeck, Warnemünde, Kiel, Flensburg, Eckernförde, Wismar and the resort island of Usedom near the Polish border, where beach front properties and businesses suffered damage.

Federal Maritime Agency (BSH) reported that sea levels in Wismar reached 6.8 metres by 21:30 on 04 January, 2017, which is just under 1.75 metres higher than normal. Many other locations reported sea levels of 1.5 to 1.7 metres above normal.

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Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported that the port of Świnoujście in north-western Poland suffered flooding on Wednesday 04 January as a result of the storm. Świnoujście is located on the island of Usedom close to the border with Germany.

Local media reported that local streets near the port were flooded just as a snow storm hit the city.


Local media reported several houses were flooded and traffic disrupted along the coast of Syddanmark and Sjælland regions on 04 January.

Danish Meteorology Institute (DMI) reported that sea levels in Sjælland reached around 1.5 m above normal, with levels in Rødvig at 1.66 m, Køge 1.57 m and Dragør 1.46 m.

In Aabenraa levels reached 1.68 m, Bagenkop 1.69 m and Karre-Baeksminde 1.73 m.

DMI had issued warnings of elevated water levels between 1.2 and 1.8 metres above normal in southern and south-eastern Denmark well in advance. Based on DMI’s warning, Denmark’s Danish Emergency Management Agency (Beredskabsstyrelsen – DEMA) deployed personnel and equipment, including pumps, sandbags and temporary flood barriers. DEMA said the flooding was a 100-year event. Flood damage however was kept to a minimum.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: January 6, 2017
Denmark, Germany and Poland, January 2017
January 4 to January 5, 2017
Storm surge
Storm surge


A - Wismar (Germany)
B - Heringsdorf Usedom (Germany)
C - Rostock (Germany)
D - Lübeck (Germany)
E - Warnemünde (Germany)
F - Kiel (Germany)
G - Flensburg (Germany)
H - Eckernförde (Germany)
I - Świnoujście (Poland)
J - Rødvig (Denmark)
K - Køge (Denmark)
L - Dragør (Denmark)
M - Aabenraa (Denmark)
N - Bagenkop (Denmark)
O - Karre-Baeksminde (Denmark)