Too Soon?

16 07 2021

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

Germans loved Johnny Cash, because he could speak German pretty well, and adapted a few of his songs to German. So, with that and current German events in mind:

Really though, in case you’re wondering, I’m fine. No involuntary permanent swimming trip for me. I’m in Berlin for the week, and even though the worst of the flooding is in NRW and RP, the heavy raining did spread east yesterday and the day before, and had some not as severe effects on the Hauptstadt. The better half tells me that the flooding back at home has not affected her at all, has only barely inconvenienced my parents- and sister-in-law, but for a few reasons, has been more of a hassle to the soyboy-in-law. But nowhere near disruptive in a major sort of way.

And because I was 16 years old and a St. Louisan in 1993, I can obviously do the side-by-side comparison to know that dis ain’t dat.

It’s also not my first flood in Germany. The Rhine here in The Region got pretty high in late winter and early spring.

Really though, all this recent rain causing this flooding has made up for what was a fairly serious drought for about the last few years, and generally, these things even out in the long run. As I remember, back during the voyage, early June to mid-July 2018, there was exceedingly little rain.

The reason that, controlling for all the variables, it’s easier for rivers in Germany and Europe to flood compared to the United States isn’t because they actually do or don’t, it’s because space and land realities mean that cities are developed much closer to the normal edges of rivers than would be tolerated in the ‘States. Meaning that a given river flood here in either fixed levels or standard deviation terms will necessarily affect more people and things than it will in the ‘States. It also means that locks and dams are more critical to flood mitigation. And from what I understand, this week, they’ve been mostly doing what they’re supposed to do, keeping things from being that bad.

Something that’s not supposed to be happening is looting. There have been credible reports of looting from closed and flooded out stores and shops, and, knowing where they’re happening and what I know about the demographics, it’s Germany’s relatively newfound vibrancy at work. They should expect more of this, if current trends continue.

This also reminds me from what happened in this country back in 2002, and others have confirmed my memory and filled in some details: The Elbe River and its tributaries from about Magdeburg upstream had really bad floods, also due to heavy summer rain. That was also a national election year in Germany, and the Chancellor at the time, one Gerhard Schröder (SPD), was able to eke out a second government when it looked liked he was a one-and-doner, because he did the whole put on rubber boots and PR parade around Dresden and then blame muh glowbull warming. Nature wouldn’t save him three years later, and there hasn’t been a Social Democrat Chancellor since, though three years later was the start of Angela Merkel, and we all know…

I should also note that, while it’s nowhere near as likely as where I come from, the low lying regions of northwestern Germany and surrounding parts of The Netherlands do constitute a small unheralded tornado alley where there have been some EF5 biggies throughout recorded history. In fact, either this past spring or last one, an EF3 touched down in rural areas around Münster slash Osnabrück.



8 responses

16 07 2021

And, of course, through the day today, the muh climate change chorus has already started singing.

16 07 2021
David In TN

The rural Tennessee area where I live is a kind of tornado alley. One night five and a half years ago a full force tornado hit my house and totally destroyed it.

I had the TV on and I think my computer as well when I heard it coming. It sounded like a train headed for me. I had the presence of mind to get a flashlight and go to the basement.

Had I waited 12-15 seconds longer it would have been the end of me. The wall was driven in where I was standing and the roof was blown off the house.

Things turned out all right. I got a good insurance payoff and had a place to go. The Blogmeister could relate to my situation.

I tell people the thing to do in that situation is go to the basement. If you don’t have one, go to the bathroom and get in the tub. This would have saved me also.

16 07 2021

thank goodness you and yours are safe. Came here as soon as i read german flooding killed 100s.

18 07 2021

Late update, I drove home yesterday, and the last part of the trip involved a few detours. Like I said, the flooding hasn’t directly affected me, or the in-laws, in any sort of ominous way. But it means that, for other reasons, I won’t be going on the road in a long distance way for a month, when otherwise I would have. Long story.

19 07 2021

The Magdalene Flood, 1342, also in mid-July. Same fundamental background, a long dry period followed by a lot of rain. But much worse. If the same level of rainfall happened this year, it would have been even worse than the outcome back in 1342.

19 07 2021

Four years ago, today: Came this close to buying the farm

Three years ago, today: Got and accepted the job offer of a lifetime

Two years ago, today: Another day at leg rehab

One year ago, today: My bride and I were in Thessalonica, the southernmost point in our honeymoon

Today: Pondering major flooding damage to northwestern Germany and getting ready to write a big check to the relief efforts

20 07 2021

My 42nd birthday present to myself was a spa weekend in this town. Now look at it.

20 07 2021

We now know that the meteorological and hydrological experts saw these floods coming nine days before they started. The big scandal now is why the warning systems failed.

It's your dime, spill it. And also...NO TROLLS ALLOWED~!

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