During the first half of February, Europe and the Danube River were locked in the icy grip of an Arctic cold front. The world could only watch as the death toll reached into the hundreds as the Danube turned a frosty white and slab ice formed along the rivers course. The Danube, one of the Europe’s most important waterways had frozen solid. Shipping lanes came to a standstill in many areas as ice almost 2 feet thick choked the waterway.
Now the Danube faces a more sinister threat as temperatures begin to rise. The ice has begun breaking up around Belgrade. The damage has already begun as blocks of ice roam the river smashing anything in their way. The ice flows crashed into hundreds of anchored boats even sweeping away a number of barges, the ice also sank Belgrade's most popular floating restaurant. Boat owner Mihailo Svilaric said only a handful of boats remained intact from 100+ boats we had in the marina. The onslaught of ice arrived was so fast that there was no time to react and little could be done to prevent the massive amount of damage.
In Serbia approximately 20 people have lost their lives and officials are now concerned about widespread flooding. Thousands of people in southern Serbia remain cut off due to the massive snowfall. Monday, US military helicopters helped evacuate people from areas of Montenegro areas that are unreachable because of heavy snow.
In Germany, some parts of the river remain frozen and shipping is still at a standstill.