Klaus backer, head of the public order department, watched the approach of the storm front on sunday with growing concern. For the night to monday the passage of a cold front with partly violent thunderstorms was announced. The problem: "nobody knew when and where the thunderstorms were going to hit."
That's why the head of the public order department sat at his computer and studied the storm models. One forecast was for thunderstorms in the northern steigerwald, which were not expected to reach forchheim until around midnight. The other announced violent thunderstorms in a strip from gunzenhausen to hersbruck.
"I was on three phones at the same time, love to be informed about the weather situation", reports klaus backer. The police in bad windsheim and neustadt/aisch reported "land unter." "That comes on you", warned the orderly. Even the rescue control center in bamberg had no more reassuring news for backer. "You must be prepared for a storm", it was already hitting there around 18.30 o'clock.
Backer follows the further development of the weather forecasts with fascination. When the wind picked up after 7 p.M., the dark clouds came closer and closer, and the weather report mentioned wind gusts of more than 120 km/h, backer pulled the emergency brake. Sirens and loudspeaker announcements warned festival visitors that it was too dangerous to stay on the annafest grounds. Backer gave the order to clear the fortified area.
Everything is shut down
The exhibitors closed their shops, the innkeepers stopped serving and the security supervised the departure of the festival visitors. At the entrances, the security service made sure that no one made a pilgrimage towards the cellar forest. For her part, groundskeeper sigrid mauser was out and about in the cellar forest, monitoring the closing of the cellars, the show- and fairground rides, as well as the imbiss booths. "Everything went smoothly, there were no problems", mauser draws her resume. "But i was glad when i finally got out of the cellar forest. I myself no longer felt comfortable", the groundskeeper is arrested.
None of the exhibitors questioned this action, even if one or the other had waited a little longer. "I understand you", criticized marco lutzelberger in the direction of klaus backer. "Safety simply has to take priority." A request has it however nevertheless. He thought it would be good if the security forces did not approach the helpers at the stands on their own initiative, but asked for the chief. He is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the orders are enforced.
Since the gross storm catastrophe failed to materialize, klaus backer appeals to the exhibitors and innkeepers on monday for understanding. "The partygoers lulled themselves into a sense of security. We could no longer guarantee that," he said, affirms backer. As "proof he shows the hosts and exhibitors a photo of a dark cloud over the cellar forest that seems to be developing into a small tornado. "Then I had to act" explains backer.