December 4, 2021

Taylor Daily Press

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“That dam could collapse” – Corriere.it

of Elena Depano

Travel to the split city. But now all the structural damage is starting to show in the water-soaked, unstable land. More than 140 died

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Erfstad (Cologne)
We need to see if Steinbock holds the dam, it all depends on it. They empty it to reduce stress, but it takes time. Volkert Kramer, an experienced firefighter, came to Erfstad to help local colleagues, and a landslide took away three houses and part of the historic palace in the hamlet of Blazemin and now threatened to submerge other buildings (I also never saw that in 2002, he says).

It is hot, there are almost thirty degrees, and the glowing sun on the fields and roads does not betray anything that happened two days ago. But now all the structural damage is starting to show, waterlogged, unstable land, Kramer explains. What he is most concerned about is the dam a few more kilometers south of the Yuskirchen district. IThe situation appeared to improve yesterday morning, and later in the afternoon, after checks, the Cologne district administration announced that it could still lead. Firefighters pump thousands of gallons of water an hour, but to protect it they have to keep it two-thirds empty, which they can’t do until 3pm today. If all goes well. Other residents of the area were evicted for this.

No one wants to think about what will happen if it comes down to it. At Erfstadt people walk incredibly across the Erf Bridge: the edge is filled with brown water, but it is not more than twenty meters wide. Imagine what the dam could have done if it had dragged half the hill a little more than a canal.

Meanwhile, the landslide area was cordoned off and guarded by helicopters, several roads were blocked, the highway piece collapsed, leaving only secondary roads in the entire district. Last night the authorities had to re-emphasize the ban on residents of the hamlet of Phlezem from accessing their homes: the front part of the landslide is still active, very dangerous. Kramer, who is responsible for protecting roads and homes, made three interventions with his team within four hours, one to stop a gas leak caused by landslides and the other to evacuate a nursing home that was in danger of collapsing. Going a little farther, the army armored vehicles picked up the wrecked trucks and cars left on the river and got stuck under a bridge. They were empty and there were no victims yesterday afternoon. There was temporary flooding on Thursday 141 deaths have been confirmed in Germany alone, including four firefighters, which seems like a miracle and everyone believes it will remain so.

President of the Federal Republic Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Minister of State for North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Lashed also arrived in Erfstad yesterday. Many in these regions have nothing but their faith. We should not be deceived by this belief. Their fate brings tears to our hearts, Steinmeier said sternly in front of the rescue headquarters. Time is needed, this time our country is together.

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Those with Erfstad yesterday had different priorities. Many people lined up in front of the help center. My house stood and only the cellar was flooded. But we have been without electricity for three days, so we are without food. Nicole Kuhanke, 37, says all electrical equipment is broken. Pete Rect seeks information: I’m here with my son Fabian, waiting for a kidney transplant – she explains –. We had time to make the last trip needed for approval on Thursday, after which they evacuated the hospital. I do not know now what would have happened if the documents had been sent to the right authorities.

In many more areas the situation is even more dire. The Ahrwheiler district, in the Rhineland-Palatinate, was the worst hit: 98 confirmed casualties were reported yesterday evening (43 in northern Rhine-Westphalia). The missing are still being searched, hoping to find them alive: Police said one person was dug into buildings, under mountains of piled-up household items, in vehicles and other items carried by the body of water. More than 370 are missing.

There are economic damages, which no one has yet tried to assess. In Schultz, where Angela Merkel is coming today, most homes are being destroyed, and the smell of rotten dirt and fuel invades the streets. The whole city without gas, it would take weeks if not months to recover it. The center of the Bad Munsterifelin is full of torn capillastones. Unidentified, according to locals.

Not far away, in the spa town of Bad Nunehr, the district capital, the flood destroyed the vineyards with many shelters. Michael Long, the owner of the city’s wine shop, says you do not recognize the landscape. They are all popular summer resorts for tourist resorts, spas, nature and good wine. This summer, we need to ensure the recovery of a sector that has been severely tested by the epidemic. The flood marks another huge blow.
Meanwhile, the rain has moved to East Germany in East Sagarmani. Yesterday some cities – Newstod, Sepnitz, Bad Schntov, Reinhardstorf-Shna and Kohrich – were no longer accessible and the groundwater monitoring center sounded a flood warning. Up to 100 liters of water per square meter. Fear of the dream coming back again.

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July 17, 2021 (Change July 18, 2021 | 01:15)