Donau River Flooding, Tuesday Evening Pics

When I left for work this morning, it was still raining very lightly, but over the course of the day it finally stopped.  The temperature went up around ten degrees. There was even, for a few brief minutes around lunchtime, actual sunshine.

This is a vast improvement.

Since the rain finally stopped, I wanted to see if there were any changes at the river, so I went back out with my camera after I got home from work.    The water level hasn’t changed all that much, but there are a few differences today.

1) The lowest part of the road that runs alongside the river, as well as one of the bridges that crosses it, are entirely closed off except for emergency and official vehicles.

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2) The Stone Bridge is still open, and the people of Regensburg are very curious to see what the river looks like.  Now that the rain has stopped, it seems like most of the city was checking out the riverfront.

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3) The barriers, which reportedly cost about five million Euros, are holding.  Mostly.  There’s some streets flooded on the north side of the Donau where the water level was just too much for the barriers.  There’s also some small leakage, but water is being pumped back into the river via huge water jets.

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4) The business along the most affected areas, like the Historic Wurstkuchl, are doing their best to continuously pump water out to prevent the damage from being too significant.

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5) These next four shots look pretty much the same as yesterday.  I promise these photos were taken today though.

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I’ll wrap this up with some other new pictures.  I couldn’t get as close to the barriers today; there were Polizei blocking the way for everyone’s safety.  I probably won’t bother going back out there tomorrow because it’s pretty unlikely that things will look all that different.  I suspect it will take a few days for the water levels to drop back to anything approximating normal, but as long as the rain stays away, we might not see more flooding than we have now.

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Donau River Flooding, Monday Evening Pics

Today was our fifth straight day of rain.  Pictures from other places hit by flooding are trickling onto the Net now, and it’s clear that we’re doing really well by comparison.  That being said, our water levels have gone up significantly since the pictures I took on Sunday.  Here’s what the river looked like about 90 minutes ago.  The first few are in front of the Historic Wurstkuchl.

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The next batch are taken from the Stone Bridge.

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…and finally, a couple taken from the street that runs along the river.  I spent about five minutes with the other people crowding around the barricades before I realized that the water level was at this man’s shoulders and that if the barricades were breached, that was the absolute last place I would want to be standing.

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The Great Flood of 2013

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Some of the structures that are the closest to the waterline are hotels.  There’s usually a lot more grass around this one.

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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.

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Have you ever seen a flood firsthand? What natural disasters have you experienced?