Elbe flood crests, emergency crews give all-clear
21 March 2005
DRESDEN – Swollen by rain and melting snow, the River Elbe crested at just below six metres above normal at Dresden on Monday with emergency crews issuing an all-clear along the river in eastern Germany.
Officials said the river crested at 5.95 metres, just below the 6.0 metre level for evacuating low-lying homes and businesses. Waters were receding by Monday afternoon, with officials saying there would be no need for evacuations.
The rising waters revived memories of the devastating 2002 floods, the worst in 150 years, that inundated the heart of historic Dresden and caused millions of euros of damage in cities and towns along the Elbe in Germany and the Czech Republic.
The 2002 flood crested at 9.4 metres in Dresden. Officials on Sunday said there was no danger of a repeat of that scenario this time.
Normally, the Elbe runs two metres above normal at Dresden at this time of year when melting snow and spring rains swell the river.
This year, however, torrential rains and severe snow storms meant the river’s drainage system is forced to cope with far more run-off than usual.
In neighbouring Poland, meanwhile, 10,000 hectares of low-lying land were flooded along with 1,200 buildings, forcing dozens of persons to flee their homes.
The flood situation however stabilised in other areas of Poland as the water level sank moderately in the Mazurian lake region.
Subject: German news