• Germany edition
 
German Flood Disaster
Deggendorf devastated: Danube floods town
Photo: DPA

Deggendorf devastated: Danube floods town

Published: 07 Jun 2013 11:51 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Jun 2013 11:51 GMT+02:00

After a dyke burst near the 120,000-person community, water levels rose to a record-breaking eight metres. The town flooded and in places buildings are two metres underwater, Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Friday.

And as Bavarian state premiere Horst Seehofer circled above in a helicopter, what he saw left him struggling for words. “It's indescribably awful. It surpasses any expectations,” he told the news magazine. For those there, working to help the 50 people refusing to leave their houses, the situation is even less comprehensible.

In the Fischerdorf area of the town, water has replaced ground, covered fences and is lapping at second-storey windows. Hiding in upper floors some refused to evacuate: scared of looting and not wanting to leave their lives behind.

“I can understand it,” Florian Uhlmann told Der Spiegel. He has been driving one of the 20 boats around the town which have been checking up on and bringing supplies to the remaining few for the past six nights. With no street lights, and little electricity, this is a dangerous job.

Photos from flooded Deggendorf

The water smells like the oil that has leaked out from heating systems. Debris clogs up the water, threatening to hit the patrol boats' motors. Even the fire station is underwater. Entire car dealerships have seen millions of euros worth of vehicles destroyed, Die Welt newspaper said.

Slowly, the water level is dropping and on Thursday in places looked to have sunk by 50 centimetres. The Danube, which lies right next to the town, is gradually beginning to recede.

Yet at the moment, getting from Deggendorf to Munich takes three hours while normally it takes just one. This is making getting clean up supplies difficult, and all roads going south are shut.

Only a few emergency vehicles are allowed through. Regional authorities are widely citing transport as being a bigger problem at this point than the water itself, said the Passauer Neue Presse regional paper.

“It brings me to tears,” district administrator Christian Bernreiter told Die Welt, who has seen 11 surrounding villages evacuated on Friday morning alone. Twenty one areas had already been told to clear out, with police storming in, armed with loud speakers, sirens wailing.

Help is at hand, luckily, for Deggendorf as the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) is out in force and families can now get €1,500 instantly. The federal government has given Lower Bavaria €20.5 million already to give to those in need. Small businesses can get up to €5,000.

Volunteers are donating money and supplies, and even helping to pump out cellars. “The readiness to help is magnificent,” BRK branch head Leonhard Stärk told Die Welt. “One family has donated an entire kitchen to their neighbours who saw theirs destroyed.”

“We have the situation under control right now but anything can happen at any time,” district administrator Peter Erl said. More rain has been forecast but at this point, said Erl, the weather no longer makes a difference.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Huge Bavarian crop circle puzzles crowds
Raisting crop circle. Photo: DPA

Huge Bavarian crop circle puzzles crowds

A mysterious crop circle in Bavaria has attracted thousands of visitors since it was spotted in a wheat field last week. READ  

Merkel: Russia sanctions were 'inevitable'
Merkel warned further sanctions could be imposed against Russia. Photo: DPA

Merkel: Russia sanctions were 'inevitable'

A raft of tough sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis were “inevitable”, Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed on Tuesday night, despite Germany's initial reluctance to get tough on President Vladimir Putin. READ  

Boy's body found in Ramstein plane
A C-130J at Ramstein air base. Photo: DPA

Boy's body found in Ramstein plane

The body of an adolescent boy was found in a wheel well of a US military cargo plane after the aircraft landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany over the weekend, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. READ  

Have Your Say
Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA

Should Germany legalize cannabis?

A New York Times editorial on Sunday called for the US to drop its ban on marijuana, calling the strongly-worded law a "laughing stock". Should Germany follow the US states of Colorado and Washington and legalize recreational use of the drug? READ  

Cows kill German dog walker in Austria
File Photo: DPA

Cows kill German dog walker in Austria

A 45-year-old German woman died when she was attacked by a herd of 20 cows and calves on Monday afternoon on an Alpine pasture in Tyrol's Stubaital valley. READ  

Knut goes on display in Berlin museum
Knut's new home in Berlin's Natural History Museum. Photo: DPA

Knut goes on display in Berlin museum

Germany’s favourite polar bear Knut is set to pull in the crowds again - but this time from a display case. More than three years after his death, his real fur has been used to create a new Knut for a museum exhibition. READ  

And the winner of the EU single market is...
German incomes are higher thanks to the EU. Photo: DPA

And the winner of the EU single market is...

Germany and Denmark came out as the winners of the European Union's single market in a study released on Monday. Integrating economically with its neighbours has helped the German economy grow an average of €37 billion a year since 1992. READ  

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats
Police check the outside of a synagogue in Wuppertal for evidence of arson on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats

A wave of anti-Semitism in Germany, unleashed by the Gaza crisis, shows no sign of abating. A synagogue was attacked on Tuesday morning, a rabbi received death threats and anti-Jewish comments online have increased. Attacks on mosques have also risen. READ  

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight
Photo: DPA

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight

Top Swiss bank UBS settled a long-running legal dispute with Germany on Tuesday by agreeing to pay a fine of €300 million. Germany suspects UBS of having helped account holders hide millions from the taxman. READ  

Two die as heavy rain and floods hits west
Münster was one of the areas worst hit by Monday night's heavy rain. Photo: DPA

Two die as heavy rain and floods hits west

UPDATE: A man drowned in his cellar on Monday night as heavy rain battered parts of north-western Germany. A second man died when he tried to drive through a flooded street. The emergency services were in places overwhelmed by hundreds of calls. There are further weather warnings in place for Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Education
Germany's students fail to graduate in time
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,254
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd