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Experiences from Recent Flood Disasters in Germany

Author(s): Robert Juepner

Linked Author(s): Robert Juepner

Keywords: Flood risk management; Dike break; Emergency management

Abstract: In June 2013 the catchment areas of the Elbe and of the upper Danube rivers in Germany were impacted by a devastating flooding. As a result, the highest flood levels ever recorded were exceeded over a distance of more than 150 miles along the central Elbe. Beside additional damage to the flood protection infrastructure, two levee breaches (up to 90 meters) each occurred, causing major flooding of the hinterland. The overall monetary damages in Germany were estimated at more than 8 billion Euros. Two years after the flood event most damagehas been repaired. But what are the major “lessons learned”? How can we improve preparedness for extreme events? New technologies are the subject of current scientific research, for example real time modelling of inundation as well as the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for receiving better information during emergency management. Besides this, an ongoing discussion is taking place regarding the opportunities and drawbacks of flood prevention measures within a highly industrialized society. This paper reflects on the current situation of flood risk management in Germany and points out the “lessons learned” from the 2013 flood disaster. The author will share his personal experiences during emergency management in June 2013, as well as his contribution to assessment reports of the Elbe river flooding 2013 at state and federal levels in Germany.


Year: 2016

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