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Brandenburg floodwaters may have peaked

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Brandenburg floodwaters may have peaked
Photo: DPA
08:59 CEST+02:00
The flooding of the Oder River in Brandenburg appears to have reached its peak, though authorities said Friday they expected the high water levels would continue to pose a danger for up to five days.

The water gauge at the town of Ratzdorf in the affected area near the Polish border stood at 6.29 metres early Friday morning – roughly the same level it had been since midnight, giving anxious authorities hope that they have seen the worst.

A containment dike burst near Ratzdorf overnight, causing a 25 metre-long fissure in an ageing section of wall, Brandenburg Premier Matthias Platzeck said on broadcaster RBB Friday morning. The crack had been plugged, he said.

Platzeck said he was confident the dikes, which were strengthened after the devastating “hundred year” floods of 1997, would hold throughout the current crisis.

A level four threat – which is the highest alert – has been in place since Wednesday night along the section of river between Ratzdorf and Frankfurt an der Oder, where authorities have raised and reinforced the containment dikes along the river's banks.

The river has been swollen dangerously by flooding in Poland, where more than a dozen people have been killed.

In 1997, the level at Ratzdorf reached 6.91 metres.

The peak level in Frankfurt an der Oder, the main city in the region, was expected to arrive during Friday. The level four high alert had already been announced Friday morning with the water level reaching six metres.

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