There is great concern that water levels will continue to rise in flood areas in Germany. The German Weather Service (DWD) announced continuous rain until the night with large amounts of rain in some areas.
It should also be stormy in some areas during the night. In Bremen and the particularly affected Lower Saxony, many water levels still showed the highest of the three flood reporting levels on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, supplies of sandbags for dike protection are running low in Lower Saxony.
Large amounts of rain expected
Lower Saxony, parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, the south of Saxony-Anhalt and the north of Thuringia are still particularly affected. In Eastern Bavaria, reporting level two should be reached in places during the night, as the flood intelligence service of the Bavarian State Office for the Environment announced. In the catchment area of the Regen River in the Cham district, level 3 is even possible. In the Bamberg district in northern Bavaria, some rivers are also expected to reach this warning level.
According to the weather service, high amounts of rain can be expected in some areas from Lower Saxony to the Black Forest as well as in the eastern and southeastern low mountain ranges until Thursday. Within 30 to 60 hours, meteorologists expect 30 to 50 liters per square meter, in mountainous areas up to 100 liters. In parts of Baden-Württemberg, warnings from the DWD about heavy, continuous rain were lifted.
The DWD expected stormy gusts on Wednesday night. In the northwest and in the mountains, squalls and severe squalls are also possible, it was said on Tuesday evening. The experts predicted hurricane-like gusts of up to 120 kilometers per hour for the East Frisian coasts and exposed peaks, and squalls were also possible on the Baltic Sea.
Compulsory schooling suspended
In the flood area on the state border of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, compulsory schooling will be suspended in some places. In Kelbra, Roßla and Wallhausen, schools will remain closed on Thursday and Friday, the Mansfeld-Südharz district announced on Tuesday evening. Emergency care will be set up. During the night in Thuringia the Leina overflowed its banks in the town of the same name.
In Altenglan in Rhineland-Palatinate, a rain retention basin could overflow due to the persistent rain. That's why an evacuation of the buildings in one street was initially announced on Tuesday evening. However, residents could now stay in their houses for the time being, a fire department spokesman told the German Press Agency at around 10 p.m. The situation remained stable at night for the time being.
In Lower Saxony, the state reserve of around 1.9 million sandbags was used up on Tuesday except for a small remainder, as the state agency for water management, coastal and nature conservation (NLWKN) announced overnight. The federal state is now also relying on reserves from other federal states. Lower Saxony has now received around 1.5 million bags. The sandbags are used to strengthen dikes, for example.
According to its president Sabine Lackner, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) assumes that the challenges for the disaster protection organization are generally becoming greater and greater. At the moment, the THW is well positioned in civil protection and can provide efficient help in many places at the same time in the current flood situation, Lackner told the “Rheinische Post”. "Nevertheless, the current situation once again shows us dramatically that the challenges facing the THW are becoming ever greater, also due to extreme weather events, the massive effects of which we are currently experiencing in various regions of Germany."
Flood events will probably occur more frequently in the future
As a consequence of the flood, experts are calling for a rethink when it comes to protecting against flooding. "As a result of climate change, where flood processes will change, we will certainly see other types of floods in the future," said Ralf Merz, hydrologist at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Halle (Saale), on Deutschlandfunk. “Such long flood events will certainly occur more often in the future.”
Much damage could be avoided, said the hydrologist. According to Merz, consideration should be given to whether the current flood protection still works. "Because maybe now what we have learned from the past is not always a good measure for the future."
For example, the expert pointed out that there are now far fewer river floodplains - i.e. natural flood areas. At the same time, the expert pointed out: "Of course we will never have 100% flood protection. This is not financially and technically feasible and the landscape cannot be converted."