German towns experience worst-ever floods

10th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 April 2006, HITZACKER, GERMANY - A crest of water that has swept down the Elbe valley since disastrous floods in the Czech Republic two weeks ago caused the worst flooding on record in some parts of Germany, with one historic small town completely under water Sunday.

10 April 2006

HITZACKER, GERMANY - A crest of water that has swept down the Elbe valley since disastrous floods in the Czech Republic two weeks ago caused the worst flooding on record in some parts of Germany, with one historic small town completely under water Sunday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel boarded a helicopter for an aerial inspection of Hitzacker, close to the river's North Sea mouth, where the entire, centuries-old town centre was flooded. Newer, outlying streets on higher ground escaped the inundation.

Merkel then donned gumboots to visit the town, but did not wade into the thigh-deep water.

Hitzacker officials said the water was 13 centimetres higher than in the killer flood of summer 2002 on the Elbe. Some residents of the riverside town, population 5,000, complained that there were too few sandbags, pumps and emergency workers.

Up-river, officials in the little towns of Boizenburg and Doemitz said the flooding Sunday was their worst since records had begun 110 years ago.

German officials say the crest of water, which is about 100 kilometres long, had moved down the valley faster than in previous floods.

The current flooding was caused by the spring thaw and rains in the mountains of Central Europe. Higher up the Elbe valley, the floods have ended, and work continued Sunday to clear silt from flooded cellars and to haul away used sandbags.

DPA

Subject: German news

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