July 2021 European Floods
|Type of posting||Posting date(EST):||Summary||Downloads|
|Final Posting||7/28/2021 5:00:00 AM|
|Update 3 with Shapefiles||7/21/2021 12:00:00 AM|
|Update 2||7/19/2021 2:00:00 PM|
|Update 1 with Shapefiles||7/16/2021 2:00:00 PM|
|Event Summary||7/15/2021 4:00:00 PM|
Event Summary | Summary
Posting Date: July 15, 2021, 4:00:00 PM
Just about two weeks after a series of severe thunderstorm outbreaks caused historical losses across Europe, low pressure system “Bernd” parked itself over central Europe and brought about significant flooding. From July 13 to 14, Germany’s Eifel, Rhineland-Palatinate, and North Rhine-Westphalia regions all experienced heavy and, in some cases, historic rainfall amounts, with the border region between the German states of Bavaria, Thuringia, and Saxony on July 13 being affected by localized flooding as well. BeNeLux and Switzerland have also experienced heavy precipitation and flooding.
Affected German rivers with notable gauge readings include the Mosel and Rhine, some of whose tributaries have reached historically high levels. During a 24-hour period 154 mm (6 inches) of rain fell on Cologne. On average, Cologne receives 840 mm (33 inches) of rain every year, and during the city’s wettest July ever in 2000, 217 mm (8.5 inches) of rain fell. Hagen, a city in the North Rhine-Westphalia region recorded 211 mm (8.3 inches) of rainfall during the same time period. The 24-hour rainfall record in Germany stands at 312 mm (1 foot).
Belgium has also been affected, including the Maas and Albertkanaal rivers. Other countries and regions experiencing flooding at this time include Luxembourg, the Netherlands’ southernmost province Limburg, and Switzerland’s Bern, Lucerne, Nidwalden, and Zurich cantons.
Reported Damage and Disruption
At least 46 people have been reported dead and dozens have been reported missing. Throughout the west of Germany, schools have been closed and transportation has been disrupted; some residents of the Ruhr area have been told to boil their water due to filtration issues caused by the flooding; some have had to be rescued from their roofs by helicopter in the North Rhine-Westphalia region.
At least six people have died from the flooding in Belgium. Residents of Liège, Belgium’s third-largest urban area, have been ordered to evacuate; a curfew has been imposed on residents of the hard-hit Belgian city of Verviers, where cars were washed away; no trains are running between Maastricht and Liège; and the Belgian railway manager Infrabel has decided to stop train service in the south of the country. Traffic on the River Meuse has been suspended, as the watercourse could breach its banks.
Residents of Switzerland’s capital city Bern, through the heart of which the Aare River flows, have been advised to move their cars to higher ground and their valuables to higher floors. Aare’s flow rate reached 520 cubic meters per second, compared with just over 600 cubic meters per second during the major floods of 1999 and 2005. Several lakes are expected to easily top flood levels, including lakes Biel and Thun.