The century flood

The heavy rains in July led to flooding on the night of July 14-15, 2021, the likes of which had not previously been thought possible.

The heavy rains in July led to a flood in the night from 14 to 15 July 2021, which had not been thought possible before. In order to prevent such destruction in the future, the river needs more space, flood protection must be rethought, man must also sometimes retreat from the bank, it was said. "The building area must be adapted to the risk, otherwise homeowners and entrepreneurs run the risk of losing everything again at the next flood," demanded Friedrich Merz at the time, now CDU chairman. However, the satellite images of villages in the valley taken by Vertical52 for the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper cast doubt on whether this has been achieved. For example, in Altenahr: In the first image, you can see what the small town looked like before the catastrophe. The water spared hardly a house in the lower areas (Fig. 2). Today, several renovated houses can be seen in the flooded area defined a few months after the flood (image 3, red). Even close to the special danger zone (yellow), houses have been rebuilt.