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Europe Under Water

by DoDo Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 11:55:17 AM EST

After an unusually cold and snowy/rainy March came the big thaw and big floods all across Central Europe. The Danube is breaking records in Hungary as I type this - in my hometown Budapest, the previous all-time second high (only established 2002!) was passed at 3 pm, here is a photo made a few hours earlier:

The predicted high is 860 cm on Tuesday night, just 7 cm shy of the 1876 February flood record. ([Update] The flood appears having topped out at 860 cm, and started receding.) Some more photos below the fold, plus German & Czech ones in the comments. What are the rivers doing near you?


Still in Budapest, the flood is not two meters below the rim of the high bank (massive flood defenses were built from 150 years ago, after a catastrophic flood ruined most of the East bank town Pest):

Tramway to nowhere:

No mooring for ships:

A bit upriver, in the village of the weekend house of my late grandparents:

Photos from Index.hu. (The 2002 record is on a scale valid only after the regulation of the riverbed from 150 years ago. Dredging deepened the river even after the 1876 record. But the two earlier floods that superseded it - after relating the old scale used in the previous centuries to the new -, 1775/864 cm and 1838/1030 cm, were the result of ice dams downriver, not sheer water mass.)

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Along the Elbe river in Germany, the flood is also serious, but it is two meters below the 2002 records (there too in that August). In the Czech Republic I hear the situation was more serious.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 12:04:56 PM EST
The river I live at has been high, flooding the surrounding for over a week, but has been now receding over the the weekend. The river Rhine here in Basel, finally is having more water again, it has been very low all winter. But I have not heard of floodings.

A week ago when I passed the Lac de Gruyère I was amazed how low the water level was. And some of the reservoirs behind dams seem to be also very low, despite the rain.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 12:11:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you know what the water that left you is doing downriver? As yet I only hear of Elbe and Donau, maybe the Rhein will be in the news when the flood reaches Cologne. (Either that, or the tributaries don't contribute much.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 12:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two SPIEGEL ON-LINE photos (out of ten) from the Elbe floods:

Porcellain-city Meißen (just downriver from Dresden)

Pirna (upriver from Dresden)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 12:20:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reservoirs were full and had to be opened in the Czech Republic (from BBC):



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 12:24:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I am nowhere near Europe (San Francisco is a bit far), but we've had crazy rains here. This is the wettest year on record, and there's no end in sight. We should be into our second month of non-stop sunshine, and instead, all I see 10 days out is rain and thunderstorms.


Mikhail from SF
by Tsarrio (dj_tsar@yahoo.com) on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 01:35:33 PM EST
A friend living in Dresden just sent me pictures he took of the Hochwaser.

Pretty impressive.  And surprisingly pretty!  I just hope it does not cause too much damage/disruption.

(You should be able to just click on the photo on the first page to view the album, i.e. no need to enter email, etc.)

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 06:40:13 PM EST
Nice photos!

I find that the water level in Dresden is close to topping out, now at 749 cm, almost two meters below the 2002 thousand-year high of 940 cm. That is countered by the unusual length of high water stand this time, still, hopefully no big damages there. The Czech Republic is worse off.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 03:09:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
though spring has barely started.  

Even some forest fires!  We never have forest fires!  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 10:48:00 PM EST
Update: right now the Danube is at 857 cm in my hometown, still rising a centimetre every two hours.

(Yesterday I updated the diary with the earlier records, but today I'm still confused about what record to beat: the water authority treats the 2002 value of 848 cm as record - apparently, the 867 cm in 1876 was measured two kilometers upriver from the current official measuring point, so different riverbed cross sectional geometry might have meant a lower 1876 stand at the current reference point.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 03:17:45 AM EST
apparently, the 867 cm in 1876 was measured two kilometers upriver from the current official measuring point

At last I found a really good source (a law on flood defenses!), and no: it was measured at the same point, it's just that for some reason end-of-winter and summer floods are accounted for separately and the latter are treated as more important threat by the water authority.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 03:43:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's too much nuance. Just give us a simple yes or no - is this the highest?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 08:54:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Possibly maybe :-)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 10:47:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh my God!
Rain and thunderstorms here in QLD today and very often this summer. I hate rain (that's why I couldn't possibly live in UK, ha-ha).In NZ there was hardly any sunny and hot days and when ever they see the sun they keep telling to anyone they meet (even strangers) " Lovely day today". Here in QLD there is a lot of sun ( normally)and tropical rains mostly during summer (but it's hot so I can manage).For some reason people here keep rejoicing when ever it's a rain and you can't go anywhere without them noticing " It's good that we have this rain. We need it"...They will never miss to say "we need it". Well generally I know we all desperately need water on this planet and yes here we have water restrictions for the first time now...but I don't need rain and am not happy to see it.
No big flooding here in Brisbane while I am here all though in the past there were quite a few...
River is doing fine and I can't remember flooding during my life time...  


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Apr 4th, 2006 at 08:55:14 AM EST


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