The Harz mountain region of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt was especially hard hit by the storms that poured down across Germany this week, leading to serious flooding in places like Hildesheim, as pictured below.
Top: Flooding in Hildesheim on Thursday. Bottom: After the water was pumped out on Friday. Photo: DPA..
On Friday this region was in the middle of cleanup operations, including surveying damage from the storms and starting repairs.
But while some cities had managed to pump much of the water out of their streets by Friday, others were still dealing with the flooding late into Thursday, such as in Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony where officials had to trigger the disaster alert.
“At night we had many operations, with sandbags being piled up and water being pumped,” said a spokesman for the local emergency operations.
Photos posted to social media on Friday showed people boating through the flooded streets in Wolfenbüttel.
“The lower floor of a care home was evacuated and the residents were brought to safety,” added another spokeswoman.
In Braunschweig (also called Brunswick), firefighters had to fill up thousands of sandbags on Thursday, handing them out for free to protect locals from the high water levels. The water is expected to shift in the coming days to the Leine and Oker rivers. Officials in the Leine area of Hanover expect the water level to reach a peak by Friday evening.
Below, a park in Braunschweig on Wednesday, flooded from the rain:
Lower Saxony's Minister President Stephan Weil and the state's environment minister Stefan Wenzel said they would give further details on what measures they will take on Friday.
The flooding also is estimated to have caused millions of euros in damage to the University of Hildesheim, the consequences of which will likely still be felt when classes start again in October.
“It is severe,” said a university spokeswoman, calling the damage “massive”.
The campus as well as protected historic castle grounds have been affected, she added.
“The institute is underwater.”
In Saxony-Anhalt, the town of Harsleben saw a stream overflow onto the banks, while in Wernigerode a kindergarten temporarily closed due to the high water levels, reopening on Friday.
Harsleben on Friday. Photo: DPA.
The German Weather Service (DWD) predicts Friday to be clear of rain across the vast majority of the country, with some showers still expected around Emsland, Lower Saxony and in Western Pomerania.
By Saturday, rain is set to fall again in the north and west, while the rest of the country will experience warm weather with highs between 24C and 28C.
Sunday will bring heavier storms once again throughout the country, which are expected to continue into next week.