Schools remain closed as Germany prepares for winter storm

Schools remain closed in many parts of Germany as the country prepares for a winter storm that's expected to come in from the west and bring heavy snow, rain and gusty winds.

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

German Railways said on its website that many trains would decrease their speed because of the storm and that delays are expected.

Firefighters and police responded late Wednesday to numerous car crashes in northern and southern Germany because of heavy snowfall and slippery roads.

German news agency dpa reported that police said that there were crashes "every other minute" on highways between Wilhelmshaven and Westerstede in northern Germany.