July 24, 2024

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Flooding Lake Constance – A Tide Coming to the High Rhine?

Flooding Lake Constance – A Tide Coming to the High Rhine?

High Rhine – It’s getting a lot of attention right now. Brown masses of water flow down its broad bed. Some riverside trails are still flooded and closed. Rhine power plants have opened their windows. The flood is too large to be fully channeled through the turbines.

The flood situation between Waldshut and Rheinfelden is already tense. And it could get worse. Because Lake Constance still holds enormous potential. No wonder, the water level is over five meters. An even higher risk level applies to Swiss Undersea – Level 5.

Relaxing place in Aarey Gate

At the mouth of the Aare, the Rhine has a good current. But experts see no serious danger. | Image: Bayer, Marcus

In the forecast map of the Baden-Württemberg State Institute for the Environment (LUBW), not only is Lake Constance orange, indicating a medium risk of flooding, but also the section of the Rhine from the Andersee to the mouth. But LUBW expert Ute Badde can rule out that this will soon apply to the western regions downstream from the Waldshut. “A ten-year flood on Lake Constance automatically means a flood on the High Rhine,” he explains.

It is favorable that the situation in the otherwise flooded river estuary has eased. But: “Lake Constance will definitely be orange on our map for a few more weeks,” he says.

See the Rhine River near Bad Sackingen on Monday Video: Steffi Weickert

There is still a lot of snow in the Alps. It will take some time for things to settle down there.

A trumpeter from Sachsingen is safely docked at the Rhine barge Mump on the banks of the Rhine at Bad Sachsingen on June 12.

A trumpeter from Sachsingen is safely docked at the Rhine barge Mump on the banks of the Rhine at Bad Sachsingen on June 12. | Image: Alexander Jaser

Hartmut Scherer, head of the water department of the Freiburg regional council, adds: “The situation is certainly not dramatic, for Lake Constance it is only a ten-year flood, and for the High Rhine it is only a two. year flood.

Nor did Scherer notice that the monster tide from Lake Constance was now rushing toward the area. It spans a long stretch of river, he explains. But that too is clear: everything must go through a river basin. The High Rhine does not have floodplains like those of the Upper Rhine.

All four sluices at the Säckingen Rhine power station are now open

As of June 12, the Rhine's water levels for the turbines of the Rhine power plant in Bad Sachsingen still need to be managed.

As of June 12, the Rhine’s water volume for the turbines of the Rhine power plant in Bad Sackingen still needs to be managed. | Image: Alexander Jaser

Scherer has yet to see any problems with the hydroelectric plants on the High Rhine. He explains that they are prepared for a flood that lasts more than 100 years.

But this much is clear: the Säckingen Rhine power station currently has 2,100 cubic meters of water per second, and all four weirs are currently open to alleviate the situation.

Cleaning at Waldshut Mini Golf Course

The Waldshut mini golf course continues to be cleaned without interruption: Manfred Schmittlin cleans the mud holes.  worry...

The Waldshut mini golf course continues to be cleaned without interruption: Manfred Schmidlin cleans the mud holes. He wasn’t worried about another flood right now. | Image: Bayer, Marcus

Meanwhile, the Waldshut mini golf course continues to be cleaned. Manfred Schmidlin of the mini golf club stands with tools and garden hoses in the mud, which is still ankle-deep in places, and cleans up methodically after the next hole.

“This is the second time we’ve had something this year,” he said when asked by our newspaper. He and his colleagues still did not lose their good spirits. Because it’s normal to have a small flood once or twice a year, like the one in early June, and a major flood every ten years.

As he plans the cleanup, he keeps a close eye on the Hauenstein water gauge and more. The prospects are good now, and that’s why he continues. “It reached a critical point again on Monday, and some water and mud flowed back onto the site,” Schmittlin said. Club members are confident that there is no more danger for now.

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