The flood situation in parts of Lower Saxony and the south of Saxony-Anhalt remains tense. Thousands of emergency services, such as those from the Technical Relief Agency (THW), fire departments and the police, are still on duty because of the flood, said a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior in Hanover on Saturday. Soils are still saturated in many places from all the rain. "But the weather forecasts are favorable to us because there is no longer such heavy rainfall," he said. Experts expect that peak levels have been reached in many places in the country.
In the flood area in Saxony-Anhalt, the water levels of the Thyra have fallen slightly, as a spokeswoman for the Mansfeld-Südharz district told the German Press Agency on Saturday. The river flows into the Helme from the direction of Harz. The dam is constantly drained into the Helme so that the water levels in the Helme remain the same. Shortly before the end of the year, the river had clearly overflowed its banks in places.
Bundeswehr soldiers have also been deployed here since Friday to help stabilize a section of the dike. It is the first Bundeswehr deployment in the current flood situation.
Dike further strengthened - and the weather changes
During the night, a dike near the Helmebrücke in the Sangerhausen district of Oberröblingen was further strengthened with the help of the Bundeswehr, the spokeswoman said. Lowering the dam is necessary to secure it. More sandbags would be filled and installed over the course of Saturday.
Frost is expected in the region this weekend. According to a spokeswoman for the district, it is expected that the permanent frost will help ease the situation.
The weather is also changing in the rest of Germany: "The exceptionally mild westerly weather that has been going on for weeks, which has brought us lots of rain and floods, is now finally coming to an end," said meteorologist Christian Herold from the German Weather Service in Offenbach. “The weather situation is fundamentally changing to winter.” Temperatures no longer rise above zero during the day, and snow is expected, especially in the north and south. The regions in the middle of Germany, on the other hand, have to prepare for frost on snow-free ground.
The flood peak has probably been reached in Lower Saxony
In Lower Saxony, experts expect that after flood waters have risen again, some rivers have now reached their peak levels. However, the water levels are expected to stagnate at a high level for the time being or only fall slowly, as shown in the situation report from the flood forecast center of the State Office for Water Management, Coastal and Nature Conservation (NLWKN) on Saturday. Numerous water gauges in the country still reported the highest reporting level three - the catchment areas of Aller, Leine, Oker, Hase, Hunte and Weser are still affected.
According to the experts, there are signs that the flood situation on the Aller, Leine and Oker will ease, as hardly any new precipitation is predicted from Sunday. Water levels in the Aller and Leine should remain high until next week, it was said.
In the city of Oldenburg as well as in the districts of Celle, Oldenburg, Emsland, Osterholz, Heidekreis and Verden, which were particularly affected by the flood, it is still considered an “extraordinary event,” said the spokesman for the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior. This means that districts or cities can, for example, more easily access auxiliary staff.
No further Bundeswehr deployment is foreseeable
A concrete deployment of the Bundeswehr in the state is not yet foreseeable. So far, the state has not made any requests for administrative assistance, said the spokesman for the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior. The Bundeswehr prepared for a possible deployment on Friday and put forces from the 1st Panzer Division on standby.
In Oldenburg, the emergency services are also prepared for a possible so-called relief opening of a dike, said a spokesman for the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior. This was intended to protect residential areas if the water pressure became too high.
Water levels are falling in western Germany
According to the Ministry of the Environment there, the flood situation in North Rhine-Westphalia remains tense but stable. A spokesman for the ministry said on Saturday that the water levels were mostly decreasing. High water levels are also expected next week, but also on the Rhine with a decreasing trend. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the water levels on the Rhine are already falling, and the flood forecast center does not expect them to rise again in the coming week. At the Trier Moselle gauge, the reporting height is expected to fall below 6.00 meters on Sunday morning.
According to authorities, the flood situation in Hesse has largely eased after the end of the continuous rain. The flood waves have now mostly passed through the lower reaches of the larger inner Hesse waters, as the Hessian State Office for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG) in Wiesbaden announced on Saturday morning. The flood peaks have been reached on the Hessian sections of the Rhine and Main and the water levels are falling.