Hennef/Niederkassel The German Weather Service warns of heavy continuous rain and heavy thunderstorms for Bonn and the region. Campsite operators and restaurateurs in the Rhein-Sieg district are preparing for the worst.
The Mondorf ferry is still operating across the Rhine. Even though the water has long since overflowed its banks. Many walkers have used the break in the rain to take a relaxed look at the spectacle on site. Meanwhile, stress dominates the hectic scene at the "Zur Siegfähre" restaurant. Alexander Adscheid and his team are in the process of clearing out the restaurant. Not only the movable furniture such as tables, chairs and cupboards have to be removed because of the threat of flooding, but also all the electronic equipment - which is not always easy. Getting the large kitchen appliances through the narrow doors is millimeter work.
Alexander Adscheid has worry written all over his face. "This is a real stroke of fate," says the landlord, who took over the house from his parents 32 years ago. High water in the summer? "That happens every 15 to 20 years, it feels. In May 2013, we also had the water standing in here," he says and makes a sweeping arm movement in the empty, echoing guest room. He also remembers the 1988 flood and that his parents had to deal with it when he was a child.
Pub "Zur Siegfähre" prepares for temporary closure
160 liters of rainwater per square meter have been announced for the next few days. After the first forecasts, the family decided on Sunday evening to empty the pub. "By then it was clear where we were headed," Adscheid says, frowning. "This is just cruel. We just got through a year and a half of Corona and reopened in mid-May. Just when we start making some money, we have to close down again," says the innkeeper. 20 families depend on the restaurant for their livelihood, he says. He has just brought his staff back from short-time work, and they are already having to pack everything in again. Adscheid estimates that the water will rise up to three meters and expects that he will not be able to serve guests again for another three weeks.
Markus Rohloff of the Sieglinde Inn is displaying gallows humor: "We're expecting the worst and hoping for the best," he says on Tuesday afternoon as he clears the lower water line. He still has the house open, with only the lower outdoor tables being moved to safety. "Fortunately, after all, the previous severe weather warnings have not materialized, and I hope it stays that way." On Wednesday, he plans to decide whether he, too, like the Adscheid family, will take everything out of the inn.
Campground operators remain calm for the time being
Campsite operators in the region are also currently keeping an eye on water levels, as many of these sites are idyllically located on the Sieg and Agger rivers, and both rivers are currently rising, albeit only moderately so far. The Agger, for example, rose nine centimeters from 79 to 88 centimeters in the night to Tuesday. Tendency: constant. Of course, that could change with massive rainfall. Christoph Schmitz, who together with his brother Egon has been running the Lohmar-Ort campground near the Agger since 1985, remains calm despite the flood announcements. "We will wait and see what happens," Christoph Schmitz said when asked. According to Schmitz, the site, which covers just under eleven hectares, offers plenty of room for alternative sites. "We are talking about a total of 15 caravan sites here, which are located directly on the Agger River. The owners are called by us and can then move their caravans, because we have plenty of space for that," Schmitz said.
Martin Halft, operator of the Happach campground in Eitorf, also remains calm, but keeps an eye on the situation because his site is near the Sieg River, which was at 69 centimeters in Eitorf on Tuesday morning. "We have already canceled a few bookings because the areas are very wet due to the rain," Halft said when asked. "But we regularly check the water levels in Betzdorf," Halft said. Six to eight hours would then be left for the campground operator to react if the Sieg level in Betzdorf should rise exorbitantly. "In our case, we are talking about ten to 15 pitches for vacation guests directly on the Sieg, whose caravans are then moved," Halft said. If the Sieg should rise higher, Halft then additionally pulls the caravans of the 25 permanent campers on to secured terrain. Basically, however, he also wants to keep calm for now and see what comes. "We are now waiting to see how it looks Wednesday afternoon," Halft said.
Original text: Ingo Eisner and Dylan Cem Akalin
Translation: Mareike Graepel