At least four people have been killed after heavy rain caused severe flooding in the southwestern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg on May 29, 2016, officials said today. As of early May 30, there are no reliable casualty figures. Some unconfirmed reports mention 100+ people dead.
According to Deutsche Welle, the storm was centered in the Ostalb district near the state border with Bavaria. The towns of Schwäbisch Gmünd and Braunsbach are among the hardest hit.
German Weather Service (DWD) said Monday that more rain fell in one hour during the storms than would normally be expected in 2 weeks.
At least two people died when a garage flooded in Schwäbisch Gmünd. The third victim was a rescue worker, who tried to save one of the affected by the flood, the city administration said.
Another person was found dead in an underground car park in the town of Weißbach. Town's police spokesman said they are using all available resources. “It’s not looking good here, it’s looking really bad,” he said.
DW said numerous vehicles were reportedly underwater, and emergency services had to rescue stranded motorists from their vehicles.
Authorities also reported rising flood waters trapping people in houses and businesses with roads closed in the chaos.
A state government spokesman said early Monday, May 31 that reliable casualty figures are not available yet. "Numerous resources had been deployed in the region as rescue efforts continued," he said.
According to Thelocal.de, a landslide in Biberach dragged trees and mud onto an industrial area. The Autobahn between Giengen und Oberkochen had to been shut down after hail stones covered it to ankle height, with snow plows brought in to clear the asphalt.
The major of the town of Künzelsau said a “natural disaster” took place after several roads had to be closed down while debris was cleared away.
Particularly badly affected was the town of Braunsbach in the north of Baden-Württemberg. Local police said a wide-scale destruction occurred there after a river burst its banks.
Videos posted on social media showed roads turned into fast moving rivers, homes flooded and cars being swept away.
The full scale of destruction throughout the state is still unknown.
DWD said that more severe weather is expected today in particular in areas further north.
Meteoalarm has issued a Red alert for heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds in northwestern Germany today. An Orange alert for heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds was issued for northern Germany.
Another round of heavy rain and thunderstorms is expected on June 1 and 2.
This round of severe weather in Europe started on Saturday, May 28 and is expected to last at least until Tuesday, May 31. 2 people were killed and more than 35 injured on Saturday.
Featured image: Severe flooding in the town of Braunsbach, southwest Germany on May 29, 2016.