Flood of the century in Saarland: the first residents have to leave their homes

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Written By Maya Cantina

The Ottweiler district office is evacuated

10:43 PM: Numerous evacuation measures are currently being taken in flood-prone areas. According to information from “sr.info”, the district office in Ottweiler (Saarland) is currently being evacuated. In Saarburg, the old town is also at risk of flooding, and water has already entered a retirement home. The evacuation must be prepared.

In Trassem (Rhineland-Pflaz), several people have apparently barricaded themselves in their homes and are also being evacuated there.

The youth camp will take place in the Southwest Palatinate evacuated

10:32 PM: Susanne Ganster (CDU) described it as “very critical”., District administrator of the Südwestpfalz district described the situation in the region on Friday evening. The first evacuations have also taken place there. A youth camp with 100 young people near Lake Clausen in Waldfischbach-Burgalben was evacuated. In addition, people must be evacuated from various streets in Hornbach.

Saarland is considering help from surrounding states

10:20 PM: Major damage situation in several districts and in the state capital: Large amounts of rain fell in the Saarland in just a few hours. Houses had to be evacuated and rescue workers were constantly on duty.

An Interior Ministry spokesperson said on Friday evening that 50,000 sandbags had been released from the state reserve. It is being investigated whether help should be requested from surrounding states. Later in the evening, the spokesperson said that the situation was still tense: “We are still far from being able to think about cleaning up.”

“We have evacuations everywhere,” said a spokesperson for the situation center in Saarbrücken. “It’s raining everywhere, all over the country.” The public was asked not to spend time outdoors at all costs and to avoid flooded or threatened parts of roads.

The rain will lighten, but levels will continue to rise

9:42 PM: On Friday afternoon it became clear that some of the heavy rain was heading towards Luxembourg, Belgium And France could deduct. This actually happened. Although it still rains in the flood areas, it is steadily decreasing. The focus remains on the Southern Palatinate. Here, almost all rivers report a once-in-a-century flood, or even events that statistically occur only every few hundred years. The Saar is also threatened with a hundred-year flood.

The mayor of Saarbrücken, Uwe Conradt, told sr.info: “We are preparing for a further increase in the level. Especially along the Saar. We expect a significant increase here.”

The rain will stop Saturday night. By shifting precipitation westward, flood areas could potentially save 10 to 20 liters of rain per square meter.

Coal power plant flooded – no district heating in Quierschied

9:25 PM: A dam broke in Quierschied (Saarland) around 7:15 p.m. A coal-fired power station is said to have been flooded with water from an old fish pond. The power plant was shut down, so there is currently no district heating in Quierschied.

More than 200 residents have to leave their homes due to the risk of flooding

9:10 PM: Due to the risk of flooding, approximately 220 people in Schoden an der Saar in the Trier-Saarburg district have to leave their homes as a precaution. As the district council announced on Friday evening, the residents will initially be accommodated in a gym in Saarburg. The water level in the Saar had previously risen so much due to the persistent rain that it was feared that the dike would be flooded. Helpers wanted to try to stabilize the dam with sandbags.

“In almost all places along the Saar, streets and buildings are flooded, and in many communities smaller bodies of water are overflowing their banks,” the district administration said. “Fire brigades and other emergency services are deployed in all municipalities to empty cellars and support the population.” There are more than 1,000 emergency services in the Trier-Saarburg district alone. On the Saar, an increase to a flood of 50 to 100 years is possible.

Zweibrücken Town Hall hit by flooding

8:43 PM: In Rhineland-Palatinate, the Trier-Saarburg district, the Southern Palatinate and the cities of Trier, Zweibrücken and Ludwigshafen were particularly affected by the persistent rain on Friday. In Zweibrücken, the fire brigade is pumping out numerous cellars, including the Nardini Clinic. Zweibrücken’s town hall is also affected; the water from the Schwarzbach already flows into the cellar there. According to “ZDF”, files from the basement of the city hall were secured with the help of city employees. Frank Theisinger, Zweibrücken’s chief firefighter and disaster response officer, has already described the current situation as the flood of the century.

The hundred-year flood limit has now been exceeded on several tributaries of the Moselle. These include the water levels in Walshausen and Würschhauser Mühle 2. The water level in Walshausen is 3.83 meters (as of 8:30 PM). There is a danger to life in these areas.

In Lebach, Saarland, the situation is also dramatically worsening. Several streets were evacuated and residents were taken to emergency shelters. In addition, electricity was turned off in most of the city center for safety reasons.

Coal power plant flooded – water floods the old town of Ottweiler

8:10 PM: The emergency services of the Technical Assistance Service have tried everything to pump out the water from a pond in Quierschied (Saarland). However, without success, because the dam broke around 7:15 p.m. according to the “Saarbrücker Zeitung”. A coal-fired power station was said to have flooded. The consequences of this are still uncertain at this time.

The lock in Ottweiler (Saarland) could no longer withstand the pressure of the water masses and was subsequently opened. Since then, the waters of the Blies have flooded the old city. As a result, sandbags have already been distributed.

In the Saarland sometimes more than 100 liters of rain fall per square meter

8:03 PM: More than 100 liters of rain per square meter in less than 24 hours – the German Weather Service (DWD) recorded these amounts on Friday at many measuring points in Saarland. A meteorologist from DWD spoke of enormous rainfall for which the rivers and infrastructure were not prepared. For comparison: in the entire month of April, approximately 74 liters of rain per square meter were measured in the Saarland – which was one sixth more precipitation than normal for that month.

The heavy rainfall is expected to diminish in the coming hours, the meteorologist said on Friday evening. It continues to rain, but the intensity is decreasing. The DWD warns of extremely heavy, persistent rain in Saarland until 2 a.m. on Saturday morning. There is great danger to life and limb due to enormous floods and high water levels.

Floods affect large parts of Saarland – retirement home in Marpingen evacuated

7:50 PM: Large parts of Saarland were hit by floods on Friday. The Ministry of the Interior spoke of a “widespread flood situation”, focusing on the southeastern part of the country. The Neunkirchen district, the Saarpfalz district and the Saarbrücken regional association were particularly affected, the ministry spokesman said this evening.

The situation in the cities is tense in the capital Saarbrücken, in Saarbrücken-Russhütte, in Eppelborn, Neunkirchen, Gersweiler, St. Wendel, Saarlouis and Merzig. In some places, residents had to be evacuated from apartments on remote streets. There were several retirement homes – including one in Marpingen – that had to be evacuated.

In Saarbrücken-Russhütte the situation was “precarious” because the current speed was so high that the fire brigade had to respond and rescue workers from the German Red Cross were called in.

Fortunately, no people have been injured so far, the spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior said. 50,000 sandbags have been released from the state reserve. It is being investigated whether help should be requested from surrounding states.

More about the current weather situation read on the following pages.

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