Bonn The Rhine water level in Bonn rose again somewhat on Thursday morning. But by Friday, a new high point is expected to be reached with a level of up to 8.50 meters.
The Rhine water level in Bonn rose again slightly to reach 7.78 meters on Thursday morning. On Wednesday morning, it had reached 7.90 meters and then dropped for a short time to 7.76 meters. But the Rhine Flood Reporting Center indicates that a new high point will be reached by Friday, when a level of 8.50 meters is expected. Melted snow and the heavy rain of the past days ensure that the water level will continue to rise. The first flooding occurred over the weekend.
Since Tuesday morning, the Brassertufer has been partly flooded and closed off from the corner of Konviktstrasse. In Beuel, the Rhine has overflowed its banks in the areas of "Bahnhöfchen" and “Rheinlust". Pedestrian and bicycle paths are closed there.
According to the city of Bonn, there could be further street closures as the water level rises.
If the level in Bonn rises above 8.20 meters, the Bonn police will increase their presence in affected areas. Law enforcement authorities shared this message in a Facebook post on Tuesday: “Then, there will be additional officers on duty, for example, patrolling the banks of the Rhine and controlling the traffic routes there. They document water levels and possible disturbances, monitor the street closures and support law enforcement agencies and fire departments in the region.”
In order to prevent the Rhine waters from entering the sewage system, more gates in the sewage network have been closed off, according to a statement from the City of Bonn. More gullies have been sealed as well. At the wastewater treatment plant in Beuel, the flood pumping stations were put into operation so that the Villicher creek and the treated wastewater could be pumped over the dike and flow into the Rhine.
Shipping traffic has been suspended. As the city further stated, according to current forecasts, the flood water is not expected to reach the residential areas along the riverbanks.
At the beginning of next week, the water level is expected to drop but it is not one hundred percent certain. "This is nature," a spokeswoman for the Flood Control Center said Wednesday morning.
Shipping vessels are not allowed on the Rhine when the water reaches 8.30 meters because there is not enough space to pass under the bridges. It also helps prevent dikes from being damaged by the waves created by the barges.
In fact, hardly any vessels are on the water right now, the spokeswoman said. "This is not like motorists who drive through traffic lights when the light is dark yellow. There's no one still driving under the bridge at 8.29 meters." There is a risk that the cargo can no longer be unloaded at the port, she said.
The rising flood waters have had a continuing impact on local transport. As of Tuesday noon, tram line 66 now only runs to the "Oberdollendorf" stop. From there, shuttle buses go to the stop in Bad Honnef, according to the Bonn public utility company responsible.
What happens at the various stages of rising water levels
At a water level of 6.20 to 6.40 meters, the Mondorf ferry stops running, and at 6.80 meters, shipping traffic is not allowed to operate on the Rhine. When it reaches seven meters, the dam gates in Beuel between Wolfsgasse and Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Strasse are closed, as well as the access roads on the left side of the Rhine in the area between Schaumburg-Lippe-Strasse and Legionsweg.
The bus stops "Bad Godesberg Fähre" and "Bad Godesberg Rheinufer" are also no longer served. If the water level reaches 7.40 meters, tram line 66 in Königswinter/Bad Honnef-Rhöndorf is flooded. From 7.50 meters, the riverside promenade "Am Alten Zoll" is flooded, and it is no longer passable when the level reaches eight meters. The data on the water level are based on measurements taken by the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration. The measuring station is located in Bonn at Rhine kilometer 654.80.
Ferry service suspended
The continued rise in water levels also has had an impact on ferry operations. Already on Saturday, the passenger ferry "Nixe" between Remagen and Erpel ceased operations. Due to the high water, the ferry service between Niederdollendorf and Bad Godesberg is also not running.
The car ferry between Linz and Remagen-Kripp has also suspended operations. "For the car ferry we need a water level of 7.15 meters at Andernach, for the passenger ferry 6.40 meters… otherwise, it is not safe to operate the ferries," explains Managing Director Udo Scholl.
(Orig. text: ga/dpa / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)