• Germany's news in English

Germany prepares for floods as big thaw looms

DDP/The Local · 20 Feb 2010, 16:51

Published: 20 Feb 2010 16:51 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Though experts see no immediate danger, local authorities are preparing for possible flooding as rising temperatures and rainfall have been forecast for the beginning of March. Several states have installed public text-message warning systems as well as online water-level monitors. Huge state funds have been invested in flood prevention in the past few years.

The director of the local Flood Protection Authority Reinhard Vogt told news agency DDP that a water level as high as eight metres is possible in Cologne at the beginning of March. Seven metres is enough to threaten the first floods in residential areas, Vogt said, but he added that the city was well-equipped to deal with the danger. "We don't have any problems up to ten metres," he said.

Cologne has invested some €260 million into flood protection in the past few years, building or renovating 60 kilometres of dykes and constructing new mobile protective walls.

The state of Saxony has developed a text-message warning system, which people living in endangered areas can use to register for alerts. A webcam has also been installed so people can monitor the level of the local River Mulde at home. Saxony suffered catastrophic flooding in 2002, with the old city of Dresden especially affected.

A spokesman for Saxony's Environment Ministry said the state was now much better-prepared for floods, even though some projects had not yet been completed. Another €1 billion is to be invested in flood protection in Saxony until the end of 2013. Authorities say that in normal circumstances they are now able to predict a flood several days in advance.

The historical Bavarian town of Regensburg has stockpiled over 100,000 sandbags, since its system of dykes still has considerable gaps, a spokesman for the local authority said, but they have also introduced a text-message warning system.

Story continues below…

Towns in the eastern state of Brandenburg have started to haul away the snow still lying on the ground, and cleared gullies in preparation for the big spring thaw.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd