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Rhine water levels 2021 and similar topics


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Ships are sailing again as the ban has been lifted. This may well be short-lived as the prediction still says that we will see another rise. Although the level is falling now and into tomorrow, it will not be enough to prevent a rise to an even higher level than last week, the graph indicates. Expect another closure latest Wednesday morning.

 

notamermaid

 

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There has been torrential rain over parts of Bavaria but along the Rhine especially close to Switzerland rain has been plentiful today as well. The river is rising fast. The tributaries of the Rhine also carry a lot of water which makes the situation worse. The authorities expect flooding that statistically happens every 5 to 10 years, looking at years. Looking at seasons, it has not been this high in July for many, many years. The flood alert centres are actively monitoring the situation.

 

Basel has reached navigational flooding mark II, Maxau at 740cm is close again. Speyer and Mainz have reached mark I. Maxau could reach 820cm tomorrow which would bring it almost as high as at the end of January! Downstream from Mainz the river is already high but not on official flooding status yet.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Hi Notamermaid,  I have been following your Rhine River water level posts closely since my family and I are scheduled to sail the Rhine River with Avalon on Aug. 14, Basel to Amsterdam.  This will be our first river cruise.  I am very grateful for your valuable reports.  I am a bit anxious about your last updates regarding the flood levels.  Do you think that this will affect the mid-August sailings?

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42 minutes ago, KarenRivera said:

Do you think that this will affect the mid-August sailings?

It is very unlikely to. August flooding is even less frequent than July flooding. But it cannot be ruled out completely, so I cannot give any more info than that. One week away from the start of your cruise you should be able to find out for sure. I really doubt the river will be as high as it is now.

 

You also need to know that it normally does not affect the whole river in one go. You are very very unlikely to be stuck in one town for seven days.

 

I would not worry too much about it. In Summer the river can also fall to just high levels relatively quickly, i.e. high but not necessitating a river traffic ban.

 

Hope this helps.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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The level at Konstanz has reached official flooding status. This indicates that Lake Constance as the river's natural reservoir is well filled. Right now this is not so good with all the flooding that is happening in the Upper Rhine valley. But later in the month and into August it will help to keep the river from reaching too low levels.

 

Maxau has risen to 814cm. It should reach a plateau today but depending on rainfall where and when, a further rise may well happen tomorrow.

 

The heavy volume of water will reach Koblenz during today and tomorrow which will push the status to flooding level there as well. The flood barriers in a low-lying suburb were put up yesterday.

 

Some ferries have stopped operating or will do soon.

 

Cologne is preparing for reaching flooding status mark I on Thursday or Friday and a further rise over the weekend. A river traffic ban at Bonn is not definite but cannot be ruled out.

 

With a bit of time later today or tomorrow, I will post a graph with some explanations, to illustrate the situation.

 

We have unusually rainy and unsettled weather for July. The temperature will stay low today in Rhineland-Palatinate, around 20 degrees in the afternoon. There is a high level warning for torrential rain for much of West Germany. It is also raining in the area where I am but a steady flow, no downpour. No, this is not fun at all. ☹️

 

notamermaid

 

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Here is the current flooding map for Germany, it shows the gauging stations:

image.thumb.png.1da994041c203dd4d28edb19a7af7cf5.png

Purple is the worst colour. The big blue patch at the bottom of the map is Lake Constance. Much of that water in Switzerland will go to the Rhine.

 

This is from the official hydrology website of Baden-Würrtemberg:

image.png.e88b0261d0ce4b409bd72051784656d3.png

This is called Jahresgang. The blue takes you through the current year. It shows you the daily averages. The red line is the daily maximums (daily averages) in the statistical period 1980 to 2010. The green is line is the mean (daily averages). The grey line is the minimums (daily averages). Notice that the blue line is higher now than the maximum. An unusual event. But even in August a really high maximum is possible which shows you that flooding in August cannot be ruled out. News said today that we had flooding in July/August 2008.

 

Maxau is now at 837cm, higher than forecast. On Friday 860cm is anticipated.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

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I have been to the river and my goodness is it high! Trees are coming down at an enormous speed - for the Rhine - in what is unappealing brown water. The weird thing is that the clouds were not plentiful and I had sunshine with the full green of the landscape shining brightly. Flooding is normally accompanied by less green and less sunshine beaming down from a sun high in the sky, as we see such a situation in Spring, not in July. I am still in shock about it all and I have only watched the news, am not affected. When I was out shopping yesterday it was clear to me that it was a lot of water coming down from the sky, downpipes from roofs started failing, small puddles turned into small lakes and our yard was covered in puddles like I have not seen for a long time. But nobody expected anything like this.

 

The loss of life makes you speechless and the damage to property is hard to fathom. And we have not reached the end yet. The situation in Switzerland has got worse, there is more rain forecast and the Moselle will bring all the water to the Rhine from tomorrow.

 

You may have seen footage of the devastation in the Ahr valley. It is heartbreaking. The Ahr drains into the Rhine just a bit South of Bonn at Remagen-Kripp. It is the area West of the Rhine, about where you can see the purple dots on the map I posted yesterday.

 

It is so bad in the area that, apart from the motorway being closed, info at lunchtime today, no trains run South from Cologne to Koblenz on the west bank and no trains between Cologne and Brussels either. Many villages have no power, are unaccessible by road and in some even the mobile phone network is disrupted.

 

River traffic is banned in the section around Maxau of course. The Middle Rhine valley may have a ban put in place. It will depend on how much the river rises at Kaub.

 

Cologne is preparing for the peak to hit tomorrow evening and the river is rising well now at Emmerich and across the border in the Netherlands. This will only be a first wave. What will happen after that South of Koblenz is not clear yet.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Update: Maxau has risen to 849cm and is likely to rise a little further, probably reaching its peak tonight. Koblenz has risen to 654cm, the river traffic ban is triggered at 650cm. There is flooding in Cologne on a minor scale still, but river traffic is going slowly already.  A river traffic ban may just be avoided, if the current forecast turns out to be correct.

 

The Netherlands has seen much rainfall it its Southern region, the river Meuse coming from Belgium is high and the high volume of water from the Rhine has reached the country. It does not look good for the next few days.

 

More rain is due to fall in Switzerland, the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest today while the Middle and Lower Rhine valleys will see relatively little.

 

Edit: I have just read that the river Aare in Switzerland has partly burst its banks at Bern. The Aare is a major tributary of the Rhine.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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Notamermaid, I am so glad you are safe in this devastating situation. The photos and video in the news reports show a terrible tragedy for so many. Thank you for your continued reporting. All best wishes for your continued safety and good health and for that of your friends and family.

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The river at Maxau is still rising pushing it to a level that is flooding that statistically happens every 10 years. Now at 857cm, it may peak very soon. The river traffic ban in the Koblenz section is from kilometre 566 to kilometre 601. Shortly after that is Andernach which has seen its status being pushed to official flooding as well, now at 740cm. Bonn and Cologne are also on flooding status. The levels from Koblenz to Bonn appear to have reached their peak and are slightly falling or will do so soon.

 

But as I have mentioned earlier, more high volumes of water are coming due to the heavy rain in the Upper reaches, with especially the Aare river in Switzerland carrying huge amounts of water.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Thank you all for your concern about my safety and the good wishes and comments, the prayers for the people still in danger, missing and confirmed lives lost.

 

That is very, very kind of you all.

 

notamermaid

 

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Update: Konstanz is still rising slowly, Maxau has halted for the moment but may continue to rise till late at night, with a hopefully fast drop tomorrow to get it to high not record high.

 

The Aare at Bern appears to have peaked, but all this water will come to Germany soon, keeping the level high. The peak on the Moselle has passed Koblenz so that water has drained into the Rhine already and the situation has eased. Levels are falling downstream from there slowly and in Cologne it looks as if it is now also on the downward slope. At just over 800cm a river traffic ban has been avoided there.

 

River traffic may not run at all around Maxau before well into Monday so a return to normal river cruising itineraries may take a bit of time seeing that traffic has to still run slowly after the ban has been lifted.

 

For the Netherlands, the river Meuse is a great concern. While the situation has eased around Liege in Belgium, the water has reached the Netherlands and is meeting the high volume of water of the Rhine. Thankfully, Maastricht appears to have narrowly escaped a disaster. The river at Venlo is still rising. The city administration has urged Germans for whom Venlo is a popular shopping city on Saturdays to stay away.

 

Thankfully it is not raining apart from on the high Rhine and in Switzerland and for much of next week hardly any rain is forecast.

 

notamermaid

 

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Posted (edited)

While the situation along the Rhine has eased a little in a few sections, the situation in Switzerland remains bad and much of that water will come to the French/German Rhine of course: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/central-switzerland-braces-itself-for-second--flood-of-the-century-/46786714 

The big coloured patch on the map is Lake Constance, which feeds the Rhine as a natural reservoir.

 

A normal itinerary on the Rhine will not be possible for days to come.

 

notamermaid

 

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A brief update. Many places in Switzerland remain on high alert. Lake Constance is rising very little, it looks as if it might stagnate today. The levels at Maxau and downstream are looking better this morning. At the Dutch border at Emmerich the level is also falling. The Meuse situation is better in Belgium but there is still much water to come through the Netherlands, partly because the Rur is still feeding the river with water from the Eifel region.

 

Much of the region is still on low to medium flooding status but it is not as dire as it was. Apart from Switzerland which is in parts much worse.

 

notamermaid

 

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For a change let us look at Emmerich, which I mentioned is at the Dutch border, with a graph:

image.png.15e4032586ceb09ea61e374d4a3021ca.png

This is the level in the past month. It has peaked and it is going down at a reasonable pace. Despite the high volume of water that the river carried the river traffic ban did not come into force. That would have been at M_II which is 870cm. M_I starts slow traffic regulations.

 

At Maxau the level is now at 817cm, which is quite a bit better than yesterday, but it means there is still no traffic. Current prediction says that the ban may be lifted during Friday to Saturday night, but there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in that.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Short update: it was hoped that the shipping ban around Speyer may be lifted on Wednesday but it now looks more like Thursday early in the morning. Maxau is only falling slowly so the end of the shipping ban may more shift to Saturday later in the morning rather than during the early hours.

 

notamermaid

 

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According to a website for the shipping industry, 76km in the Upper Rhine valley are still on the traffic ban. This area includes both the gauging stations of Maxau and Speyer which I have mentioned, so let us have a look again. Speyer has gone down well and more or less as predicted. Now at 739cm it is not far to go to the end of the ban in that section when it falls under 730cm. It may be before midnight or early on Thursday. The ban at Maxau will remain for longer, now more likely during Friday daytime, so a slightly better outlook in the prediction.

 

The Meuse is doing much better now but it is still high in the Netherlands, both the flooding from the Belgian Meuse and the German Rhine have been pushed into the Waal and Nederrijn, etc. so they are on alert there but the Dutch have this knack with water through many years of experience and planning, so the situation seems to be under control for the most part now, although heavy flooding could not be avoided in towns like Valkenburg. There the damage is great.

 

notamermaid

 

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Early this morning the ban was lifted at Maxau, which is in other words a stretch of river around Karlsruhe.

 

Not full steam ahead yet in the downstream direction as it is slow traffic regulations, but sailing from Basel all the way to Amsterdam is back!

 

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I have signed up for Uniworld Empress:   Dutch Delight (July 29, 2022 and  S.S. Antoinette:  Castles along the Rhine (August 7, 2022.  I am starting to feel me picking a cruise is the kiss of death!  Have rebooked 6 different cruises.  I have a FCC with Azamara which now I am trying t use on a March 2023 Ocean cruise (the FCC normally should be expired but they are extending SOME of them).  Now I book these two back to back river cruises and there are already problems with them!  I was hoping Netherlands and Rhine would be a better bet!  Just venting my frustrations as you can tell, but I REALLY want to travel!  I am getting older as we speak!

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