Author Topic: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK  (Read 369 times)

Offline RAGIII

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Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« on: July 16, 2021, 11:18:43 PM »
I have been looking at the News on the Net reference the Severe Floods in Europe. I know we have Many Members in the countries involved. I sincerely Hope all are safe as well as their Families and Friends. Not sure "Time to Relax" is the best place for this. If you read this please check in if you can.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2021, 04:28:57 AM by RAGIII »
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Offline kensar

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Re: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2021, 02:11:00 AM »
I spoke with a colleague in Germany yesterday and he mentioned the flooding from excessive rain.  Must be bad over there.

Offline Alexis

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Re: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2021, 02:25:08 AM »
It is bad , I have family in Germany and all are safe so far , but I feel for those who have suffered loss .

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Offline gedmundson

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Re: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2021, 11:53:04 AM »
I have family in Wurzburg Germany and they'd mentioned the heavy rain and flooding last week. Most of it a fair bit west of them, and in Luxembourg and  Belgium.

Offline Borsos

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Re: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2021, 01:41:08 AM »
Here in Northern Bavaria there were  streets and bridges crushed, some basements flooded and some cars destroyed. As bad as this is, it is nothing compared to other regions. The worst destructions by far are in the Rhineland, in the German-Belgian border region. Countless buildings are ruined, but the worst is that they already counted over 130 dead. And there are still over 1000 people missing. Floodings are nothing new in many parts of Germany. But there never was that kind of destruction by flooding ever before, like people say, it‘s something completely new and unexpected. As I know Manni lives in Western Germany, I hope he‘s safe.
It’s as if Earth herself got upset. We also hear from extreme heat in Canada and the U.S.A, from fires in the woods of Carlifornia and elsewhere. Hopefully, all of you are healthy and safe there!
All the best,

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Online lcarroll

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Re: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2021, 02:17:50 AM »
   Here in northern Alberta Canada the heat wave is finally taking a break, today is a refreshing 15C/60F. The bad news is the smoke from the wildfires west of us, it's really nasty today and air quality advisories continue. As bad as that is I think of our friends in Western Europe and hope they are safe from their far worse conditions. Stay safe my friends!

Offline Bughunter

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Re: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2021, 04:42:08 AM »
I'm fine too, in the middle of Bavaria.

What is so strange about all the extreme weather, whether it is the heat in Canada or the flood here in Germany, is that all the old "records" are being literally pulverised. The reason is the same, the changed jet stream, which do not move the weather areas. This causes the the heat dome in Canada or the rotating low pressure system with heavy rain in western Germany staying at the same place. A few weeks ago, more rain fell per square meter in the Uckermark (north-east of Germany), but it was much better distributed in that flat area. Now in the mountainous area, even less was enough for this disaster.

This is a sentence translated from the german news (the B265 is a federal highway):
"Numerous vehicles were flooded on the B265, and the water was 12 metres high in places."
12 meter! :o

Hope all the best,
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So I create downscaled originals.

Offline Manni

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Re: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2021, 07:18:10 PM »
Hello, thank you for asking.
I actually live in North Rhine-Westphalia and also directly on the Rhine (half a mile). Fortunately, I live in a small town called Baumberg, which means tree hill. We are 14 meters above the river. If this continues we will soon be an island. We were lucky there was only some water coming through the wall in the basement. Since I am a cautious engineer, years ago I bought an additional powerful pump unit in the sump in the basement. That pumped all the water that wanted to come in back into the sewer system.
My neighbors had 30 cm of water in the basement.

We were also on vacation in the mountains (Bavaria) for the last two weeks. So we could hardly have done anything. A friend who restored an old farmhouse for retirement in the Eifel now no longer has a house it was taken by the flood.
Cars were detected at a depth of 10 meters with a depth radar.
Hopefully it is not too late for our planet and the dytopias like Mad Max or Waterworld won't be our future.
However, I doubt that we humans are reasonable enough for preventing that.
Bye, Manni
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"Warum noch mehr Bausätze?!?": meine Frau

Offline lone modeller

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Re: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2021, 12:57:09 AM »
I have just returned from visiting family in Germany - I drove through western Belgium and Luxembourg on Tuesday 13th and it rained all of the way - but apart from being wet I did not realise the scale of the problem to the east. On arrival in Germany, (very close to the border with France and Luxembourg), the river Saar was at almost normal level but when we went to the Mosel valley at Trier the river level was 6.5m above normal. It was then that we started to get news of what had happened in the Eifel to the north where whole communities have been flooded, bridges destroyed, and sadly, many lives lost. In one part of the Hohe Eifel (High Eifel) they had 200 litres of rain over 1 sq m, (8 inches per square foot for those who use imperial measures), in 48 hours: no wonder they were reporting 10m flood waves on some rivers. The debris in the Mosel was frightening - whole trees being trapped on bridge parapets, and tragically parts of people's homes were floating down the river. Seeing that was awful. The standing waves in the Mosel below the weir at Trier were in the order of 1.5m high - that is extrordinary given that at normal flows there are hardly any waves at all. Along the Mosel down river from Trier people were pumping out basements and cellars, and all of the small streams and drains had flood debris and evidence of former very high flows.

An important lesson that we all need to learn from the fires in North America and the floods in Europe is that we have to adapt to changing circumstances: events like these are much more common than the experience of our short lives suggests. I looked at the photos of the damaged and destroyed buildings in Germany and was reminded of similar damage suffered by buildings during floods here in the UK. All of these buildings were very close to rivers which in the recent past have not had high flood levels. Flood prediction, and the prediction of most natural events is calculated by using probability models. Using probability data to calculate the frequency and magnitude of floods is all very well, but as with any model, it is only as good as the assumptions and measurements used to make it. Almost every flood model, (indeed every frequency/magnitude model), that I have seen, and I have seen many over the years, is based at best on data gathered in the 20th century, sometimes for periods which are even shorter. As a geologist who is used to studying long term change, I am appalled that anyone should claim that any event has a frequency of x or y years. Given that climate is an unstable phenomenon at all time scales, any predictive model based on a few decades of data can have little or no value beyond predicting the frequency of small to moderate scale events. Further, given that the climate is warming, larger scale events are going to become more common - and the historical data is there to show that this was so in the relatively recent past, (200-300 years), and that it was much lager in the geologically recent past too. The problem is that historical data is difficult to analyse without specialist training which very few people, including almost all climate scientists and engineers, have. Further the data, such as it is, is very patchy and is unusable in mathematical modelling.

Conclusion: we should not be building on low lying ground next to rivers or streams which are liable to flood unless we compensate by allowing large areas to flood in other places. We should be allowing small and large rivers to flow much more slowly and accept that if we dredge and straighten channels to allow for improved navigation, or build industrial sites on river banks and protect them with high banks, flood water will move as higher waves down the channel and cause destruction to lives and property elsewhere. If we clear upland areas of trees and then use heavy machinery or overgraze the land, water will run off very quickly indeed instead of infiltrating into the ground. All of this and more besides is well known, and some measures are being taken to mitigate some of the effects. However more difficult measures are not: they require that we accept that we cannot engineer nature to meet our needs and desires without there being consequences, some of them being potentially fatal to ourselves. In the past people often, (but not always), used their local knowledge and the experience of their forbears to avoid building in places that were potentially dangerous, even at intervals of over 100 years. If they did not they took risks. The same applies to the fires in North America - they have burned in the past and will burn again in the future - long after we and this forum are but a speck in history. That does not offer a solution to the immediate problems of course, but it perhaps might just remind ourselves that we live on a dynamic planet and that we are not as omnipotent as we sometimes like to believe: rather we are part cause and part participators in those changes. Accurate education is part of the answer, but sadly that is not being given anything like the priority it needs. Instead we are being fed apocalyptic stories because that helps to keep the media machine happy. It also stimulates our innate interest in the spectacular and dramatic. 

We cannot bring back the lives of those killed recently in Germany, but we can think carefully about what actions to take to try to reduce as much as possible similar tragedies from occurring in future, while all the while accepting that such tragedies will occur. We will not live to see the burned out sections of forest regrow to their full magnificence in North America, but left to their own devices, they will do so in time. The news cycle is nothing compared to the length of our lives. Our lives are nothing compared to even quite moderate changes in large ecosystems. That too is worth remembering and keeping in mind at all times. The apocalypse is always just around the corner for some - it always has been - but the frequency interval of real apocalyptic events is actually quite long - even in geological terms!


Offline Monty

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Re: Flooding in Europe: I Hope all are OK
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2021, 03:45:07 AM »
Some very wise words there, Stephen! We need to always be aware, and careful.... Regards, Marc.