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Hundreds of calls to emergency services: Storms bring heavy rain, flooding and lightning strikes to the region

Hundreds of calls to emergency services : Storms bring heavy rain, flooding and lightning strikes to the region

A major storm swept across the Rhineland on Friday evening, causing much flooding, especially on the right side of the Rhine. Emergency services were kept extremely busy, called out several hundred times.

As forecasted by the German Weather Service, a major storm rolled through Bonn and the region on Friday. In the evening, heavy precipitation and thunderstorms hit many areas, causing major flooding and considerable traffic disruptions.  Emergency services were busy throughout the night.

In Bonn and the region, police and emergency services responded to several hundred calls. The fire department set up a temporary control center in the parking lot of the Müllerland furniture store in Hennef, bringing all emergency vehicles there for deployment to areas hit hard by the storm. According to the operations center, emergency units were deployed around 220 times in the surrounding area before 10 p.m.. According to GA information, emergency services responded to around 500 calls altogether until the morning hours.

A crisis team was set up and the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) supported the fire departments from the Rhein-Sieg district.

Rhine-Sieg District

In Siegburg, several manhole covers blew out on Heinrichstrasse because of groundwater pressure. Car traffic had to be diverted. Only buses could still get through the areas with standing water because of their higher clearance. In some cases, residents wearing safety reflective-vests signaled approaching cars not to continue driving along the flooded Heinrichstrasse.

On Kurhausstrasse in Hennef, streets were filled with torrential waters. On Dürresbachstrasse, too, pools of water formed at times, considerably restricting traffic. All road users are advised to avoid these locations right now as a precaution. According to GA information, the Hennef fire department coordinated about 500 deployments in the region until Saturday morning.

Niederkassel also reported flash flooding. Cellars filled up with water and had to be pumped empty.

In Lohmar, a lightning strike led to a fire in a garage but the local fire department was able to prevent the fire from spreading.

Siebengebirge

In the industrial area in Oberpleis, heavy rainfall caused massive flooding on the roads, several commercial enterprises and a hardware store were flooded. A creek overflowed its banks and became a raging torrent. The low lying areas along the Pleisbach creek were especially affected, including the business park and industrial warehouses.

Public warning sirens had to be sounded in Königswinter because there was dangerous flooding on many streets.

On Siegburgerstrasse in Uthweiler, floodwaters accumulated at the level of Buchholzer Strasse. Many cellars were flooded. The streets had to be cleared of mud and debris. Uthweiler road which runs through the town was no longer passable, with water up to 50cm high. Gully covers blown out by the rush of water posed an additional danger due to open manholes.

The fire department was assisted by the construction department of the city of Königswinter.

North Cologne

The north of Cologne was also hit by severe thunderstorms with heavy rains. Emergency services were on the scene with large numbers of personnel, pumping out cellars and cleaning up streets. In Neustadt-Nord, a roof structure caught fire after being struck by lightning. With the use of aerial ladders, the fire department was able to quickly bring the fire under control. Nobody was injured. There were also considerable disruptions to tram services.

In the outer northern districts of Cologne; Esch, Pesch and Auweiler, emergency services were called out more than 500 times, mainly to pump out flooded cellars and ground-floor apartments.

The heavy rain caused considerable disruption to rail services for the KVB. Bus services were also affected.

Düsseldorf

A twelve-year-old girl was injured in Düsseldorf. After being struck by lightning near her bicycle, she was hit by a car and seriously injured.

Hier geht es zur Bilderstrecke: Zahlreiche Überschwemmungen in der rechtsrheinischen Region