Flood protection What happens in Bonn when the Rhine reaches a certain level?

Bonn · During flash floods or when the snow melts, the water level in the river Rhine quickly rises. Inundations of water can cause devastating damage. We explain the water levels in Bonn and what to do when it becomes critical.

 The last floods in Bonn were at the beginning of February 2020.

The last floods in Bonn were at the beginning of February 2020.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Vulnerable areas in Bonn

What happens at which water level?

  • 5 metres: Minor high water (Kleines Hochwasser)
  • 6 metres: High water mark I (Hochwassermarke I): ships are only allowed to sail slowly and in the middle of the river.
  • 6.50- 6.60 meters: The Graurheindorf-Mondorf ferry stops operating.
  • 7 metres: In Beuel, access roads to the Rhine are closed. The public will be informed by loudspeaker announcements if the level is forecast to rise to 9.50 metres.
  • 7.15 metres: The stops Bad Godesberg Fähre and Bad Godesberg Rheinufer are closed.
  • 7.20 metres: In Bonn, the access roads to the Rhine will be closed from Legionsweg to Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße.
  • 7.40 metres: Medium high water (Mittleres Hochwasser): The fire brigade sets up an emergency task force. The 66 tram line in the area of Königswinter at the Sealife-Center floods. The stop will then no longer be served.
  • 7.50 metres: The Beuel Technical Operations Centre is set up and the first sandbag walls are built. Recycling containers are relocated.
  • 7.60 metres: The Mehlem-Königswinter ferry service is suspended.
  • 7.90 metres: The Dollendorf-Bad Godesberg ferry service is suspended.
  • 8 metres: High water mark II (Hochwassermarke II): Shipping traffic is suspended. At just over eight metres, the Rhine overflows its banks in Beuel. North of the Kennedy Bridge, the Rheinaustraße is spared flooding up to a level of 9.50 metres by the dam at Wolfsgasse. In Bonn, Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße will be closed downstream to Hermann-Ehlers-Straße.
  • 8.20 metres: Major high water (Großes Hochwasser): Technical emergency lines are set up in Bad Godesberg and Bonn. Footbridges are built in the Rheinstraße.
  • 8.50 metres: A command post is set up in Graurheindorf. Water runs into Mertensgasse. In Bonn's city centre, the riverside promenade at Alter Zoll is flooded.
  • 8.60 metres: In Mehlem it becomes critical. This is when the water runs into Rüdigerstraße by Am Glückshaus.
  • 9.50 metres: In Mondorf, the Rheinallee is flooded, cellars fill up. Around 100 residents are affected. In addition, the new flood protection in Beuel fails at this level. The first streets to be flooded are Rheinaustraße south of Kennedybrücke, Steinerstraße and Johannesstraße. Footbridges must be constructed.

Flood risk for Bonn's streams and creek systems

When the water level rises - City of Bonn recommends precautionary measures

  • Evacuate cellars, garages and other parts of the building affected by high water levels
  • Remove vehicles from the garage, pavement or street and park them in safe places outside the flood zone
  • Prepare waste containers and bulky waste for special collection - in good time before the flood wave arrives, all waste containers are emptied in special collection
  • Check the building’s drainage system and backwater flaps in the basement
  • Protect the heating systems

When the water recedes

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