More than half of the at least 134 victims of the Ahr flood only died after the first video recordings by a police helicopter. The committee of inquiry into the flood disaster of the Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament recently showed two 20-minute films of a helicopter with footage from July 14, 2021 from 10:15 p.m. on the Ahr in camera. They are supposed to show scenes of people in dire need and only recently appeared surprisingly more than 14 months after the flood.
The flash flood, several meters high, after extremely heavy rain in the sometimes narrow river valley, reached Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler on the lower Ahr on July 14, 2021 around 11 p.m., according to the city. "It can therefore be assumed that there were no fatalities from the flood disaster in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler before 11 p.m.," it said. According to earlier information from the city, the water masses there killed 75 people.
State Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (SPD) said on July 15, 2021 later in the day in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler about the fatalities: "People were practically surprised in bed."
That reminded him of the flood disaster in Hamburg in 1962. At that time, too, victims were surprised during the night - more than 300 people lost their lives. Authorities are accused of warnings and evacuations that were too late for the Ahr flood in 2021.