Germans hunker down against North Sea surge
9 November 2007, Hamburg - Coastal barriers in Germany were closed Friday to stop the rising North Sea from flooding the low-lying countryside as an autumn storm moved towards mainland Europe.
9 November 2007
Hamburg - Coastal barriers in Germany were closed Friday to stop the rising North Sea from flooding the low-lying countryside as an autumn storm moved towards mainland Europe.
The order was given Friday morning to shut the 476-metre Ems Barrier, a gate system completed in September 2002 across the Ems, the border river between Germany and the Netherlands.
Other major area rivers such as the Elbe and Weser are protected by riverbank levees with small gates on the gaps.
Ferries from the German mainland to the North Frisian islands, close to the Danish border, stopped operating because the water level was approaching the tops of the quays, making embarkation unsafe.
The North Sea surge, caused by a combination of high tide and a storm wind pushing the seawater against the shore, hit the German region half a day later than the coastal crisis in eastern England.
Maria Boethling of the German marine bureau said high water of 2.5 metres above mean was forecast for 4:20 pm (1520 GMT) in Germany's biggest port, Hamburg, 80 kilometres up the Elbe from the North Sea.
Subject: German news