2 dead, 30 missing after deluge floods cities in several German states (VIDEOS)
Two firefighters have died and at least 30 others remain missing after storms and torrential rain flooded several German states. The extreme weather left roads impassable and turned streets into rivers.
The massive downpour between Tuesday and Wednesday triggered severe weather warnings in a number of German states, with resulting floods toppling six homes as of Thursday morning, according to public broadcaster SWR. Around 30 people are still unaccounted for in addition to the firefighters' deaths, the outlet added, while another 25 houses are at risk of collapsing in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Rescuers were reportedly still working to pull residents to safety early on Thursday, with five people said to be trapped in a home in Waxweiler that is “completely surrounded” by water.
Storms also slammed the states of Saxony, Thuringia, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Bavaria.
A 46-year-old fireman was killed while performing rescue work in Altena, North Rhine-Westphalia, with police on Wednesday calling his death a “tragic accident.” Another firefighter collapsed and later died while on a storm-related mission to Werdohl-Elverlingsen power plant near Werdohl several hours later, police said.
Ein kleiner Eindruck vom Hochwasser in Altena. pic.twitter.com/84lRAMk8LP— MeerifiziertXVI (@meerifiziert) July 14, 2021
In the nearby city of Hagen, 100 liters of water per square meter fell in a matter of hours, according to the weather service, causing the Volme river to burst its banks and prompting officials to declare a state of emergency. Footage from Hagen shows the extent of the flooding, with one Twitter user posting video of what appears to be a roaring river, but is in fact the remnants of his driveway.
#Hagen city center, Lange Straße / Bleichstraße, 14th of July 2021, 16:00. People have to use boats to get to their homes or shops. At 15:00 heavy rain started again.#unwetter#nrw@WDRaktuell@Kachelmannwettr@Kachelmann@DWD_presse@uwz_de@StormchasingD@Stormchaser_F5pic.twitter.com/KOUGn7Ds0s— Jan Grolier (@GrolierJan) July 14, 2021
Jetzt gerade in #Hagen - Hohenlimburg an der Kreuzung "Zur Hünenpforte".Die ganze Straße ein reißender Fluss.Der Regen hört nicht auf.Die Feuerwehr kann nur beobachten.#StarkRegen#DauerRegenpic.twitter.com/UvZbQX4kif— 𝙎 𝘼 𝙆 𝙄 🤍 (@saki_statement) July 14, 2021
City officials urged anyone living near the river banks to leave their homes immediately for higher ground, and warned people to keep well away from the debris-laden floodwaters.
Dusseldorf was also plagued with floodwaters, with the fire brigade responding to over 350 calls for assistance before midday. Power was cut to some parts of the city by the emergency services as a precaution, officials told local reporters, and residents in the Grafenberg district were advised to leave home due to the flooding.
Starkregen und Unwetter in Düsseldorf – Straßen und Keller stehen unter Wasser pic.twitter.com/u4G1IpYvKr— 🌱.helga krueger🍃 (@anemlon) July 14, 2021
The national weather service has warned that further heavy rainfalls are expected over western Germany into Thursday morning.
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