With largely dry weather at the start of the new week, people in the flood-affected regions of Germany can hope for relief. In Meppen, around 50 residents of an evacuated retirement home were allowed to return after more than a week, according to reports from the city in Emsland. As with the Ems and Hase, stagnating or slowly falling water levels were also reported in other rivers.
In Lower Saxony, the flood situation remained critical in several regions. The districts of Celle, Emsland, Osterholz, Verden, the Heidekreis as well as the district and city of Oldenburg were affected, as a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior in Hanover said.
A large mass of water is still pressing on the dikes. In Oldenburg, soggy dikes continued to cause concern. Even if the water levels are falling slightly, the pressure of the water masses is enormous, said a city spokeswoman.
The Bundeswehr continued to help near Sangerhausen in Saxony-Anhalt: around 200 soldiers, together with other emergency services, are strengthening a dike near Oberröblingen. Last weekend alone, around 110,000 sandbags were installed, according to the Mansfeld-Südharz district. The water levels along the Helme remained at a stable level and the inflow into the Kelbra dam continued to decrease.
In many regions of Germany, people can look forward to sunny winter weather in the coming days, but it will be very cold. The German Weather Service (DWD) in Offenbach predicted permanent frost and lots of sun until Wednesday. There are frosty temperatures, especially at night: especially in the east and southeast, it often drops below minus 10 degrees.
According to the forecast, the sun will shine almost everywhere this Tuesday. Only in the extreme north and northeast as well as in Swabia and on the High Rhine are there a few clouds. There is "widespread permafrost" at temperatures of minus 7 to plus 1 degrees. There is often weak to moderate wind, and stormy gusts also occur in the mountains. The DWD also expects a lot of sunshine on Wednesday.
“It will only be at the end of this week that the air will be humidified again and light snowfalls are possible,” said the DWD. So it will be cloudier and foggy again on Thursday. “Drizzle and snow grit” may occur locally.
In view of the freezing temperatures, the German Life Saving Society (DLRG) warns against entering ice surfaces - even in flood areas. “The ice on lakes and ponds is usually not yet stable,” said Alexander Paffrath, head of operations at the DLRG. There could be a risk to one's life if one ventures onto the ice.