Danube level falls but melt may bring new flood

30th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

30 March 2006, PASSAU, GERMANY - The Danube river, which has swollen dangerously this week as snow melts in Central Europe, was lower Thursday at its headwaters in Germany, bringing hope that the worst may be over.

30 March 2006

PASSAU, GERMANY - The Danube river, which has swollen dangerously this week as snow melts in Central Europe, was lower Thursday at its headwaters in Germany, bringing hope that the worst may be over.

In the German city of Passau, close to the Austrian border, police said the water level had fallen 15 centimetres during the night. The city lies directly at the confluence of two major rivers, the Danube and the Inn.

However German weather forecasters said late Wednesday that snow was melting fast in the area's mountains and being washed into the valleys by rain, so the river might rise anew. The Danube, which empties into the Black Sea, is Central Europe's biggest waterway.

On Wednesday the water had lapped across the riverside highways at Passau and shopkeepers who are accustomed to almost annual inundations cleared their shops of stock and put up shutters. Firefighters put up sandbag walls to protect key sites.

Downstream, Austria had to close its Highway 3 at Krems on Thursday because of flooding and Budapest authorities closed much of the city's riverside drive because the high water was on the verge of spreading from the Danube banks.

DPA

Subject: German news

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