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Flood situation in southern Germany is getting worse

Flood situation in southern Germany is getting worse
In Ludwigsburg the promenade is under water.

In Bavaria, the districts of Augsburg, Aichach-Friedberg and Günzburg declared a state of emergency. The water levels are expected to continue to rise sharply, the district office in Augsburg announced on Saturday morning. In addition to Bavaria, the neighboring state of Baden-Württemberg is also badly affected. People have already been brought to safety – some by boat.

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The German Weather Service (DWD) has issued the highest level of severe weather warnings for several districts. Heavy rain has been falling for hours, particularly in southern Germany. According to the DWD, the highest warning level 4 applies to western Swabia, Upper Allgäu and Upper Bavaria. Rainfall amounts of up to 120 litres per square metre are possible there. Warning level 3 applies to Middle and Upper Franconia, with rainfall amounts of 40 to 70 litres. From the afternoon onwards, there could be strong thunderstorms in some areas of northern Bavaria.

  • Continue reading: Heavy rain in Vorarlberg – fire brigades in constant operation

Flood of the century feared

In some places, there are fears of a once-in-a-century flood. This is a calculated value and refers to a flood that is reached or exceeded on average once every 100 years. As of Saturday afternoon, many severe weather warnings are initially valid until Sunday, some into Monday.

According to meteorologists, since 8 a.m. on Friday, 135 liters per square meter have fallen within 24 hours in Sigmarszell-Zeisertsweiler in Bavaria. In Kißlegg in Baden-Württemberg, the figure was 130 liters. In several cities in both federal states, rainfall amounts of more than 100 liters per square meter within 24 hours had accumulated by early Saturday.

There were no large-scale floods until Saturday afternoon. However, rivers and streams overflowed their banks in many places. In the Swabian district of Unterallgäu, around 150 people were called upon to voluntarily leave their homes. In the town of Babenhausen alone, around 100 people were affected, said a spokeswoman for the district administration. Some of the people were to be picked up by boat. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder and Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann wanted to travel to the Swabian flood area on Saturday.

Bavaria: Accidents caused by rain

There have already been numerous police operations in Bavaria. As spokespersons from the relevant police headquarters announced on Saturday morning, the operations were concentrated primarily on Swabia and northern Upper Bavaria. According to police, several people were injured in car accidents caused by the rain on the A9 motorway on Friday. Cellars and streets were repeatedly flooded. Emergency services and residents of rivers with rising water levels armed themselves with sandbags.

According to the fire department, a central sandbag storage facility has been commissioned in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance in Baden-Württemberg. Around 10,000 sandbags are to be brought there from a neighboring district. Hundreds of emergency personnel from the fire department, the Technical Relief Agency and the German Red Cross helped.

The Lake Constance region was particularly in focus: Due to the acute risk of flooding, around 1,300 people in Meckenbeuren were advised to leave their homes on Friday evening. The situation has since eased somewhat, said a fire department spokesman. In general, it is assumed that the water levels could drop again somewhat, as a lot of water has already flowed away, for example into Lake Constance.

In Switzerland, too, heavy rainfall led to numerous floods, landslides and flooded cellars. The flood situation was tense. By Saturday morning, Zurich fire services had been called out 200 times because of water in buildings or flooded streets. In the canton of Thurgau, the police registered more than 100 reports of damage. In the canton of St. Gallen, the emergency call center coordinated around 90 fire service operations. In the canton of Zug, several cellars were also under water.

Article updated at 12.47pm

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