NAfter heavy rains and floods, there are evacuations in North Rhine-Westphalia. In the Oberbergisches Kreis the dam of the Bever dam in Hückeswagen overflows, the district fire and rescue control center announced. The location of Hartkopsbever and Peterstraße in Hückeswagen would therefore be evacuated. “Immediately go to higher altitudes”, authorities warned shortly after midnight on Thursday morning. “There is a risk of flooding.”
Anyone who is in the affected area should switch off heating and cooking equipment, then leave the building immediately and go to a safe place.
Impending flooding of the Wupper
After the enormous rainfall, the authorities expect an uncontrolled overflow of the Wupper dam near Radevormwald during the night. The Oberbergische Kreis warned around 11:30 p.m. that the water level of the Wupper in the urban area of Radevormwald would swell very quickly in a short time. “There is a risk of flooding,” the warning said. The residents along the Wupper in the urban area were asked to leave the danger area immediately. “There is an acute danger to life!”
“Although the rain has meanwhile subsided or stopped, the flood situation remains very tense,” said the district at around 1:00 am. “The emergency services will probably be occupied with the consequences of today’s flood for several days.”
According to the city of Wuppertal, the current flow speed of the Wupper could lead to flooding in Wuppertal three hours after the overflow. “People should not stay near the Wupper at night, especially not in hollow areas,” it said in a statement. Residents should observe the situation and, if possible, go to the first floor. For those affected, Wuppertal activated a citizen phone on (0202) 563 2000. People who live in the affected areas on the ground floor and cannot otherwise evade, wants to accommodate the city in a sports hall. A substation in Öhde was shut down as a precaution, which concerns several districts.
Disaster in the Vulkaneifel
In Rhineland-Palatinate, the Vulkaneifel district declared the disaster. “The situation is very serious, we have many flooded streets and towns that can no longer be reached,” said District Administrator Julia Gieseking (SPD) on Wednesday evening in Daun. The schools in the district should remain closed on Thursday.
“I appeal to the population that everyone stay at home and protect themselves from the masses of water,” said Gieseking. The disaster enables the Bundeswehr to support it. Vehicles would also be needed to negotiate impassable roads. The focus of the operations is on rescuing people. Initially, the emergency services could hardly take care of flooded basements. “There are so many locations that we have to set priorities.”
Several flooded highways
The President of the Supervisory and Service Authority (ADD), Thomas Linnertz, said he had rushed to the Vulkaneifel to get an overview. The situation is also difficult in neighboring districts due to heavy rain and floods. The fire and disaster control inspector of the Vulkaneifel district, Harald Schmitz, said there were such strong masses of water that “entire streams flow through places”. In Hillesheim, part of the old people’s home had been cleared. “We are assuming that the situation will last longer and that is why we have requested support.” Apart from cuts, however, there have so far been no reports of major injuries to those affected.