Dresden under threat of flooding as waters rise
3 April 2006, DRESDEN, GERMANY - An army of volunteers piled sandbags along the banks of the Elbe river on Monday as spring floods threatened the south-east German city of Dresden.
3 April 2006
DRESDEN, GERMANY - An army of volunteers piled sandbags along the banks of the Elbe river on Monday as spring floods threatened the south-east German city of Dresden.
With low-lying parts of the city already under water, the river passed the 7.38-metre mark Monday morning and was continuing to rise at a rate of 1 centimetre per hour, a spokesman for the city said.
Hundreds of helpers worked throughout the night reinforcing dykes, draining off water and erecting barriers of sandbags up to nearly two metres high in danger-prone areas.
Flooding in the upper reaches of the Elbe and other rivers has already brought destruction to parts of the Czech Republic as snow melting off Central Europe's mountains filled the waterways.
Officials said the flooding would be nowhere near as bad as that of August 2002, when Dresden was overwhelmed, villages were partly washed away and 21 people were killed in Germany alone.
Dresden was bracing for the worst on Tuesday when water levels were expected to touch 7.80 metres, well below the record 9.4 metres recorded in 2002. The normal level for the river is 2 metres.
In the porcelain-manufacturing town of Meissen, 27 kilometres northeast of Dresden, water was ankle deep in the centre, with ducks swimming down one of the main streets.
A total of 1,500 people have been evacuated, including 300 from the Dresden suburb of Gohlis were water spilled over protective barriers over the weekend and threatened to enter homes.
Subject: German news