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Sandbag volunteers: 'You have to help'

Published: 06 Jun 2013 11:30 GMT+02:00

Farmers in Lödderitz on the banks of the Elbe, used their tractors to deliver sand to volunteers filling sandbags, trying to prevent the village in Saxony-Anhalt from being overwhelmed by the rising waters.

"I am a pensioner, but you have to help - we're practically becoming professionals," said Heinrich Herzog, 75, who was filling some of the estimated 300,000 sandbags needed to shore up the eight kilometres of dykes.

An ice-cream van arrived at the sandbag-filling spot on Wednesday and the driver handed out free treats and drinks to the volunteers, lightening the tense atmosphere.

A battalion of Bundeswehr soldiers were also deployed there, working shoulder-to-shoulder with the civilian volunteers to placed the sandbags in special formation on the dykes.

It was a picture of civil action and cooperation with the authorities in the face of some of the worse flooding on record that was repeated across the country this week.

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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