Video: Parts of Great Britain at a stand-still from storm

  1. Closed captioning of: Parts of Great Britain at a stand-still from storm

    >>> if you go east further across the atlantic, winter has hit hard. stings are at a stand still in parts of great britain. in some places you can't move by road, rail or air and we wanted to show you how their evening news was covering the near total paralysis.

    >> vehicles abandoned and people forced to sleep in cars and trains through a long and freezing night. it's a whiteout. this stark, still scene signals the extent which britain is grinding to a stand still .

    >> i'm going to go back home.

    >> reporter: the snow closed the railway stations , too. trains were stranded where they stopped. when it left the plat tomorrow, this one was billed as the gastrick express.

    >> there's nothing going out and coming in except for more of this snow.

    >> i've been here for 27 hours. they provided cardboard blankets, which is not much of a help.

    >> would be a good night to own a pub or be in one, we imagine. the situation in the uk

Image: Snow covers Edinburgh Airport
David Moir  /  Reuters
Flights at Edinburgh Airport were grounded Thursday due to the heavy snow.
updated 12/2/2010 6:56:29 PM ET 2010-12-02T23:56:29

Freezing temperatures and often blinding snowfall killed 12 more people and caused travel chaos across northern Europe on Thursday, while some of the worst floods in a century devastated parts of the Balkans.

Airports closed down or delayed flights across the continent, roads were coated in an impassible mix of ice and snow and even Europe's vaulted high-speed trains struggled to cope.

Gatwick Airport, one of Britain's busiest, was closed for a second straight day, canceling another 600 flights as conditions continued to deteriorate. Edinburgh Airport and London's City Airport were also closed until at least late evening, according to Eurocontrol, the air traffic agency.

Significant delays also hit airports at London Heathrow, Amsterdam's Schiphol, Berlin's Tegel and Duesseldorf. In Geneva, the airport reopened only after removing 2,000 tractor-trailers full of snow from the runways.

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France's main airports also suffered cancellations, with about 25 percent of all scheduled flights — a total of about 300 — out of Paris Charles de Gaulle scrapped, along with another 10 percent of flights out of Paris Orly, according to the DGAC aviation authority.

Travelers hoping to fare better by road or rail were equally stymied as snow continued to fall across the U.K. and most of Germany, leaving thousands of motorists stranded overnight in their cars.

Some 3,000 stranded rail passengers struggled to sleep overnight in their trains, German railway operator Deutsche Bahn said. Another 200 passengers in Frankfurt spent the night in parked trains after local hotels fill to overflowing.

Nothing was moving along many of Germany's high-speed train links, such as between Nuremberg and Leipzig in the south and east, or between Hamburg and the Danish capital Copenhagen in the north.

In Poland, the cold claimed 10 more lives, bringing the overall deaths there to 18, police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski said, as police scourged the streets for homeless or drunk people in hopes of saving their lives.

Two deaths were reported in Germany, a 73-year-old in Lower Saxony who was struck by a train why trying to clear snow and an 18-year-old in Baden-Wuerttemberg, who lost control of his vehicle on an icy road and crashing into a truck.

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Authorities in Berlin kept subway stations, soup kitchens and heated buses open all night to provide shelter for the city's homeless.

Southeastern Denmark was also badly hit, and heavy snowfalls and icy winds severely hampered road and rail traffic. The Danish army used tracked armored personnel carriers to help ambulances and other emergency vehicles cut their way through mounds of snow.

Heavy snowfall in Poland created treacherous situations on many of the country's already abysmal roads. Thousands of Polish homes were left without electricity or heat as temperatures hovered around minus 10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit).

Traffic was also chaotic in Germany, with hundreds of minor accidents. Police in Berlin alone counted 121 accidents Thursday morning.

A deep freeze gripped Sweden, with the lowest temperatures overnight Thursday measuring minus 29.6 Celsius (minus 85.3 Fahrenheit) in Lillhardal in the center of the country.

World Blog: London's winter woes

Flooding in south
Authorities declared a state of emergency in three Balkan countries on Thursday — Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro — and were evacuating hundreds of people after heavy rainfall caused severe flooding along the Drina River — the worst in 104 years, officials said.

"From my terrace, I no longer see a river, but a lake that has flooded parts of the town's center," said Muris Razanica, whose hillside hotel has a stunning view of the Bosnian town of Gorazde.

Image: Flooded mosque
Amel Emric  /  AP
Flooding from the Drina River surrounded this mosque in Gorazde, Bosnia, on Thursday.

"This area is famous for rafting but if this goes on, big ships will be able to dock in Gorazde, it's really unbelievable," he added as the federal army turned out to help evacuate people.

Tourist agencies in Bosnia handed over their rafts so Civil Protection workers could rescue people from apartments in Foca, where water levels has reached the first floor. Those who dared remain on upper floors were given food and water.

On the other side of the river, authorities in Serbia and Montenegro evacuated hundreds of people as the Drina flooded farms and roads. Schools were closed, many people had no electricity or heat and water supplies were contaminated along the river in all three countries.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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