Video: Waves From Storm Ylenia Damage Ferry in Hamburg's Harbor

The ferry Tollerort was damaged by powerful waves from the storm (file image)

Published Feb 17, 2022 7:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

A major winter storm hit Northern Europe on Thursday morning, bringing high waves, storm surge and extreme winds to Germany and parts of Poland. 

Storm Ylenia arrived in Germany with hurricane-force winds of more than 90 miles per hour. It has killed at least four people on shore, two in Germany and two in Poland, and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of customers. Rail services have been canceled across Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg, Berlin and other economically-vital regions, primarily due to fallen trees. 

The port city of Hamburg sustained flooding from the storm, and the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency estimated that the water level peaked at about 6.5 feet above mean high water. Hamburg's historic waterfront fish market was among the locations to sustain significant flooding. 

The conditions were bad enough on the River Elbe - normally a placid body of water - that waves smashed through the windows at the bow of a river ferry. A passenger video captured the moment that the water came gushing through the ferry's large glass panels. 

According to local media and AIS tracking, the ferry was operating in the heart of Hamburg's harbor, a well-sheltered area some 50 miles inland from the North Sea. 

Operator Hadag reported that many of its regular services across the harbor were affected because of the effects of the storm, including flooding at some ferry terminal locations.