Bad Godesberg: A look back in time 50 years ago the creek flooded the city

Bad Godesberg · On May 14, 1971, a thunderstorm resulted in heavy flooding in Bad Godesberg, with the Godesberger creek overflowing its banks and rushing into the city center. Some see parallels to the flooding of 2016.

 Koblenzer Strasse was completely flooded in 1971.

Koblenzer Strasse was completely flooded in 1971.

Foto: Stadtarchiv/Hans Kleinpass

Those who were in Bad Godesberg 50 years ago reported afterwards about "flying manhole covers," floating cars and wet feet. On May 14, 1971, a storm had moved from Wachtberg across the Marienforster valley to the city center of Bad Godesberg. The storm resulted in the Godesberger creek overflowing and flooding the entire city center. The stores around Michaelsplatz and Theaterplatz, Koblenzer and Bürgerstraße, and Schultheigasse were hit hard, with water pouring into shops and cellars. As old photos show, even areas far from the creek, such as the Godesberger Allee/Wurzer Straße intersection, were flooded.

While authorities at the time considered the "unusual severity of the storm" to be the cause, those affected wondered if there had been mistakes made in the planning of the new creek bed four years earlier. Similar accusations were also raised in June of 2016, when a thunderstorm caused flooding in Wachtberg and in Bad Godesberg all the way up to the Fronhofer Galeria. Although it was not designed for that purpose, the underground parking garage located at the Galleria saved the city from worse damage, serving to retain the floodwaters.

(Orig. text: Silke Elbern / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)

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