Continuous rain in Bonn Bonn under water

Bonn · Streams overflow their banks and underpasses fill up. For example, the city has to close the passage at Propsthof. The Kulturgarten has to postpone concerts due to the rising Rhine level. The situation in Lessenich is critical.

 There is so much pressure in the canals that the water shoots out of the manhole covers - here on Justus-von-Liebig-Straße in Dransdorf.

There is so much pressure in the canals that the water shoots out of the manhole covers - here on Justus-von-Liebig-Straße in Dransdorf.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

It gushes out of canals, underpasses run full, closed roads and water in cellars. The heavy and continuous rain on Wednesday caused a lot of damage in Bonn.

But it was not until the afternoon that the storm situation in Bonn visibly came to a head. "From about 3 p.m., the emergency call numbers increased significantly, so that subsequently all units of the Bonn Volunteer Fire Department were called into service to deal with water damage. The units of the professional fire department are held back for time-critical operations at the stations," fire department spokesman Frank Frenser described the situation in the early evening. During the day, the city had to close the Propsthof underpass, among other things, because it is full of water. Cars parked there will be towed to dry ground until the evening. Water also seeps into the Maximilian Center at the main train station, and the fire department pumps it out. Deutsche Bahn had to give in to the floods by late afternoon: Since around 5 p.m., nothing has worked between Cologne and Koblenz on either side of the Rhine. There are reports of water damage to signal boxes and fallen trees. Even some pedestrian underpasses in the city are no longer passable at this time.

Streams turn into torrents

As the evening progressed, the situation at Bonn's streams became increasingly critical. The Rheindorfer Bach swells over its banks as a torrent - a scenario that commands the respect of those responsible at the city: "It becomes critical when the rain does not fall over a longer period of time, but as an urban flash flood. Culverts and pipes then threaten to become blocked by flotsam, and flooding can occur," says Peter Esch, head of the civil engineering department. The situation is bad for residents of several houses in Lessenich: Here, the Hardtbach has dammed up near Bahnhofstraße, and in some apartments the water is knee-deep.

With a view to the rise in the Rhine level, the city informed the organizers of the Kulturgarten on Wednesday that the Rhine at the Leinpfad would probably overflow its banks from Thursday, making access to the concert site impossible. Organizer Sandro Heinemann says he is in talks with the artists who are announced for the next few days. In the evening then there is certainty: All shows of the weekend are postponed to dates in August and September. Max Dornau of the Bonner Fähr- und Fahrgastschifffahrt informs that both the ferry Rheinnixe and the riverboat Moby Dick will probably not run from Thursday. At the University Hospital, the operational hospital management team meets during the day, a preliminary stage of crisis management. 147 alerts are reported by the Bonn Fire Department by early evening. "It remains the case that we have an abundance of deployments. We are also receiving emergency calls from the Rhein-Sieg district and are providing support there," said spokesman Frank Frenser at shortly after 9 p.m.. Fortunately, there were no life-threatening situations in Bonn on Wednesday at that time. The situation at the streams remains critical, especially in Bad Godesberg. Frank Frenser: „We are prepared to raise the alarms.“

(Original text: Rüdiger Franz and Philipp Königs, Translation: Mareike Graepel)