MUNICH, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Cars were swept away and streets flooded as Germany's northern coast felt the force of storm Axel, while traffic accidents spiked in the country's south on Thursday after several inches of snowfall.
The northern states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania were among the worst hit by Axel on Wednesday night, with water levels rising by almost 2 metres (6.5 feet) in some areas after heavy rain fall.
Residents were well prepared with sandbags and levels began to subside on Thursday, but snowfall is expected to continue to fall in southern Germany, where temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Celsius (-4F) in the mountainous areas.
In Bavaria, police said there had been 160 traffic accidents in one day, three times as many as usual.
Munich residents joined forces with snow plows to clear paths and roads submerged under heavy snow. (Writing by Patrick Johnston in London; Editing by David Goodman)