If you grow up in Florida, you get used to hurricanes. If you live on the west coast of the United States, you know earthquakes. The folks in the mid-west of the U.S. know tornadoes. Every geographic region has an indigenous natural disaster. For places along the Danube river, it’s flooding.
High water marks are a common sight along the river banks of Bavaria- an indicator of floods long past. This picture is the corner of the outer wall at Weltenburg Abbey- there are high water marks from as recently as 2005, and as far back as 1845.
Because of this, it’s no real surprise that after four straight days of rain across Bavaria, Austria, and large swathes of Europe, there’s flooding going on. A few people have died, according to the news. Passau and Rosenheim have declared a state of emergency. Portions of Prague were entirely evacuated on Sunday night due to the flooding.
As of 9pm Sunday, Regensburg is on high alert, but hasn’t taken much damage yet. I went out on Sunday at around 5pm to take a look at the current state of things.
Large metal flood barriers and sandbags have been set up along most of the places that the river is likely to come washing over the banks.
Just for some perspective, here’s approximately the same view as above, from a past photo with normal river levels.
The flooded space is coming very close to the Historic Wurstkuchl, the world’s oldest fast food restaurant. They’re normally open every day, but they had to close today because the water levels are dangerously close to their doorstep.
The buildings that butt up against the river have to take special care to block off lower entryways and remove valuables from basements. The basements will be the first to flood.
Here, again, is a past view of the same batch of buildings from a less flooded time.
Metal barriers have been placed wherever water might seep in- I don’t know how much protection this really affords. The city has advised people to move their cars further away than the green vehicle in this photo.
Some of the structures that are the closest to the waterline are hotels. There’s usually a lot more grass around this one.
There’s an entire hidden island in this photograph. The water level is usually very close to the land line here, so it’s no surprise that the land is almost entirely obscured by water.
Have you ever seen a flood firsthand? What natural disasters have you experienced?