Winter Storm & Flood

Sooo, the better part of Germany — everything from our general area northward — was hit by a major winter storm over the weekend and has been looking like this ever sind:

(Image sources here, here, here and here)

… as a result of which, trains, planes, and public transport aren’t operational, streets aren’t passable for cars, everything is convered with thick layers of snow, ice and sleet, and, generally, public life has come to a complete standstill (well, not that it hadn’t been reduced as a result of Corona anyway, of course, but as of yesterday, pretty much nothing is happening at all).  And the predictions are for more snowstorms yet, and also for them to extend all across Germany:


Meanwhile, right at the bottom of the Rhine Valley we don’t have snow — not much of it anyway — yet … but we’ve got plenty of water instead!


(Photos mine)

For reference: The promenade in the middle / lower images is a good 3 metres (10 ft) above the water level ordinarily.  All in all, we’re currently looking at a river depth of almost 8.5 metres (almost 28 ft) at present.  And that photo bottom right shows why, for all the pretty vistas, I’d never want to have an apartment right on the river.  If the water is that high in these buildings’ back yards, that means it’s easily as high in their basements, too … (and it would be even higher — on the banks as such as well — if the protective dyke on our side of the river hadn’t been reinforced in the past couple of years).

And oh look, this morning we did have a tiny bit of snow even down here … and who knows, what with the forecast and what things are looking like elsewhere, we may have more even of that, too, some time this week!


Heavy snowstorm pounds Germany, upends travel


4 thoughts on “Winter Storm & Flood

  1. Ugh, flooding. I hope it subsides soon, but with more storms to come this might get worse. I hope not! My mum sent me pictures of snow, too, and she had some of the “brown” snow, too.

    Meanwhile, we’re having similar snowy weather, just not as cold, thankfully.

  2. I cannot understand why (well, I do really—money, and stupidity) builders continue to construct on flood plains and by rivers and businesses and householders carry on buying property with a high risk of flooding. Ever since the 70s when we first were in a position to buy a house our priorities were always to live on higher ground and, preferably, not where landslip was a possibility.

    So our houses have been on a hill overlooking the central bowl of an English city; in a farmhouse 250 metres up a range of hills in the far west of Wales; and in a terraced house 60 metres above a pretty river which has flooded farmland and properties every year or two since we moved here. Not for us the fast-eroding North Sea coast of England, say, or the bijou estates constructed by a scenic stream for which insurance soon becomes prohibitively expensive …

    1. Your choices sound like great locations to be living in! The Rhine Valley is narrow and, for most of the stretch from here to Mainz, has steep cliffs on both sides very close to the river, which even today can’t easily be built on, so people — for the better part of that stretch of river — have no choice about living close to the water; at least close enough to risk some amount of flooding in late winter / early spring. Which is a price they’ve been more than willing to pay, though, literally since the Stone Age, due to the river’s enormous importance as a European transportation / travel route and source of livelihood and income (think “Nile” — maybe not exactly identical, but the situation is at least roughly the same). So, even in Bonn, where the valley widens out, the attitude is the same as elsewhere along the Rhine (all the more since the city has pretty much crept all the way up the hills on both sides of the river, too, in the past 200 years, and room for additional residential construction areas is becoming scarce) — and in modern times, flood protection essentially comes down to a matter of applying well-known principles of engineering. That being said, I live a few 100 metres from the river and personally would certainly not want to move any closer.

      It’s interesting to look at the choices people make for their housing, though, isn’t it? Ask Californians about “The Big One”, and though they all know it’s a real risk, it seems so unlikely that they’re all convinced it won’t happen in their lifetime, so why move away? Ditto bush fires and mudslides …

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