The USA are burning, Germany is drowning

Well, how to write this post? First and foremost: I’m fine, in case anybody was worried, I thankfully live about 100 to 300km away from where this is happening. I don’t know about or other German regulars. If you see this, please check in.

Maybe you heard it on the news, but the Southwest of Germany is currently experiencing extreme flooding. So extreme that even the climate scientists who expected something like this to happen are shocked by its scale. The effects are dramatic. There are over 100 confirmed deaths so far, with thousands still being unaccounted for, though authorities are hoping that they’ve been merely cut off.

The worst happened in two states: Rhineland Palatine and Northrhine Westphalia. In Rhineland Palatine the river Ahr, usually a small meandering river that runs between vinyards, has swollen dramatically. The catastrophe there isn’t a result of sealing large parts of the ground or straightening the river. That region is usually one of those brother Grimm fairy tale landscapes: middle high mountains with wine on the slopes, forests ion the heights, a castle at the top, and a nice medieval town in the valley. After weeks and weeks of heavy rain, the ground was soaked and couldn’t take any water anymore. It all rushed down into the Ahr. And now there are places that basically no longer extist.

Description: muddy brown water with half a bridge. The other half has been destroyed .

Description: Pictures of the town Dernau. You can see the muddy brown water in the whole town.

In Northrhine Westphalia it was flooded dams that could no longer hold the water. They tried to prevent the worst by causing smaller floods beforehand, but no avail. The Wupper, usually a small river, flooded town and completely destroyed neighbourhoods.

Description: cars buried to the windshield in rubble and water

I’ll spare you my thoughts on our politicians, climate change and so on. I’m preaching to the choir anyway.


  1. avalus says

    Currently in Odenwald … in a small town on slopy hills with a nice little river near us. And everwhere we went, there were puddles and pools and muddy ground. This made us a bit uneasy.

    People we met are concerned. This will probably happen again not too soon in some other places.

  2. says

    I am glad you and avalus are both safe. This is really, really bad. Here we have excessive rainfall after several years of drought. The weather is more and more extreme every year, I fear what comes in a mere decade.

    The free market and innovation did not come with a solution because as it turns out, without strongly enforced anti-monopoly and anti-lobbying laws, greedy millionaires manage quite easily to hijack the market and suppress any innovation that could endanger their short-term profits for so long that it becomes impossible to avert the impending disaster.

    Scientists were warning for over half a century that these things will happen. And now that they are happening, there are still people who deny it. The same people who see a cold winter in one area as a proof that AGW does not happen will then turn around and say that extremely dry and hot summer over most of the globe also means that AGW does not happen.

  3. Jazzlet says

    Glad to hear from you both, I was wondering if you were safe as I looked at the pictures in the Guardian. I hope you stay safe.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    Also glad you’re all safe!

    Are there any regulars in Belgium or the Netherlands? Meuse/Maas floods have already wreaked havoc there. I wonder if the Rhine floods will move downstream to NL?

  5. Tethys says

    I have been worried and am happy to hear that you are safe.

    That Grimms landscape is where most of my gene pool came from, so I am very familiar with the terrain even though I’ve never been there. Wallertheim appears to be heavily affected, as are the villages upstream.

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