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KLM cancels 220 flights as powerful storm approaches Netherlands

KLM cancels 220 flights as powerful storm approaches Netherlands

A powerful storm pummeled Europe with high winds and snow Thursday, killing at least four people in three countries, grounding flights, halting trains, ripping roofs off buildings and flipping over trucks.

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport has suspended all flights and the Dutch national rail service has halted all trains.

At least 260 flights were scrapped and falling roof tiles led to the closure of airport terminals.

According to the Associated Press, two 62-year-old men were killed in separate incidents of falling trees or branches in the Netherlands on Thursday, and a third death was reported south of Brussels, Belgium.

At Amsterdam's Airport Schiphol, all flights were grounded Thursday morning because of the storm's strong winds, according to the AP.

Some 100,000 people in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and in the northern state of Lower Saxony were left without power, a spokesman for the energy company Westnetz said.

Overhead power lines that supply trains have been damaged and trees were brought crashing on to the tracks, causing severe delays for thousands of commuters.

Train service was halted in Germany as wind gusts up to 90 miles per hour made that method of travel too unsafe as well, according to

Some bridges and some stretches of road were closed in NRW.

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The Netherlands Meteorological Institute issued a weather alert in the country's east but said that winds were starting to ease.

Gale-force winds have also been recorded in Britain, where thousands of homes in southeast England have been left without electricity.

Driving conditions in parts of Scotland were extremely hazardous, with officials advising motorists to stay off the roads because of blustery winds, heavy snow and ice.

Black Sea ports in eastern Romania were also closed Thursday because of the high winds, authorities said.

"Since this affects many long-distance connections, there are effects on the entire rail services, also internationally", Deutsche Bahn said.

In many parts of Germany, schools remained closed as the country prepares for the storm that was expected to bring heavy snow, rain and gusty winds.

Police said thousands of calls were received from people reporting damage across the country.

Authorities warned Germans, especially in western and northern Germany, to not leave their homes on Thursday if possible.