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High water situation May / June 2013

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Home >> High water situation May / June 2013

What happened so far : Since Monday 2013-05-27 minor concerns about high water on the Danube. Two days later on Wednesday a first ship got stuck on the Main river at Bamberg, was not able to continue it's cruise. At the Moment we have major high water on all rivers in Germany due to moist air coming from the north, squeezing against the midland mountains and finally the Alps. Due to heavy rain over the last week, the ground is completely saturated, can't buffer any more rainfalls at this moment. Northern Bavaria had around 30-60 liters / squaremeter / 24h of rain, while the southern areas even went as far up as 140 liters / sqm / 24h on 2013-05-31. You might also want to read: my other article on this.

Media and useful external links (added in chronological order)

FYI: Often videos do not work if you access the websites via google translate. So I just give you the original URL..

German Weather Service: Youtube Video - especially the graphs from 2:20min are interesting.
High Water Service: Link - includes all the minor rivers, see how many have turned to code orange and red..
National News Tagesschau
Local News on a minor tributary of the Main River : click or click here
Video on the Situation in the Passau Area: click here
Webcam Passau: click here
Article on Welt; State of emergency in some districts, Army gets ready to help: click here
Passauer Newspaper on the Danube situation: click here
Animated gif showing Passau regular situation and flood (1000cm): click here
LVZ: High water situation on the Elbe at Dresden: click here
Australian news on the floodings: click here
Bild tabloid covers all rivers with pictures and videos: click here
Situation at Deggendorf gets worse: click here
Another Passau Webcam (has pictures from 2013-06-01 - today noon) as the official webcam went blank: click here
Meissen expects to get flooded tonight: click here
Facebook Info Page for Bavaria (lot of private pictures): click here
Instagram pictures with tag #hochwasser: click here
Sueddeutsche Newspaper on the Regensburg situation: click here
Hungarian website on the high water situation predicted further downstream: click here
Twitter hashtag: #hochwasser click here
Bloomberg on Prague #1: click here
Politicians are visiting the areas - as if there would be elections this year: click here
Bloomberg on the Situation in Prague / Vlatva: click here
Animated webcams of bavarian rivers: click here
Cruise Critic on cancellations: click here
ITV video of Melk Abbey (and more): click here
BBC covers the Elbe & Danube flood: click here
CNN on the Elbe & hungarian Danube: click here
Spiegel on the Elbe Situation: click here
Hungarian website with pictures of Budapest: click here
Several webcams from Budapest / Hungary: click here
News on the hungarian flood: click here

Internal River links

Danube: http://rivercruiseinfo.com/content/rivers?ri_id=6#tabs-3
Elbe: http://rivercruiseinfo.com/content/rivers?ri_id=7#tabs-3
Main: http://rivercruiseinfo.com/content/rivers?ri_id=2#tabs-3
Rhine: http://rivercruiseinfo.com/content/rivers?ri_id=1#tabs-3

Danube:

First, river levels were not as critical as on the Main, but this changed now. First the low bridges at Regensburg caused problems for cruise ships, now the stretch between Regensburg and Passau is closed for ships. Due to heavy rainfall on Saturday / Sunday morning in the Alps, more and more tributaries (like the Inn, Lech..) turn code red.

Update 2013-06-02 / 15:11 CEST: Passau Pegel has reached 1000cm about 2 hours ago, regular would be around 450cm. Forecast says around 1120cm going to be reached on Monday morning.

Update 2013-06-03 14:45 CEST: Since noon the levels at Passau are above 1250cm. Since 6am there are no automated data reported any more, and the webcam is out. Power black outs over the city, army, THW and firefighters try to help.

Update 2013-06-03 21:20 CEST: Deggendorf port is flooded after a mobile flood protection broke. Water swapping over the dikes. Gauges reached its max in the Ingolstadt area; Regenburgs to Passau still rising.

Update 2013-06-04 11:45 CEST: Levels at Passau crested at 1289cm, are now dropping. Here is a prediction table: 10:00 1150 - 1175 m, 12:00 1110 - 1140 m, 15:00 1045 - 1090 m, 18:00 1005 - 1055 m . Situation at Regensburg gets worse, so looks like a second wave on the upper Danube.

Update 2013-06-04 19:54 CEST: A dam at Deggendorf broke, the crest of the second wave is at Regensburg now. Passau dropped below 1200 this morning, but automated gauge values do not work, data are delayed several hours. However, still dropping after they have reached the all over peak (even higher than 1501) at 1289cm (regular would be around 450cm).

Update 2013-06-05 10:43 CEST: Two dams at Deggendorf burst. The levels are Regensburg are slightly dropping now. However the situation between Regensburg and Passau is still critical. Good news is: It stopped raining yesterday and the levels of some tributaries are dropping faster than the Danube is rising. Still the levels are still marked as code purple along the Danube.

Update 2013-06-04 11:45 CEST: Deggendorf county is cut of from the rest of Bavaria at this moment. Austria and Hungary are getting prepared for the flood now. Slovakia has stopped all ships on its stretch of the Danube. Once the peak wave is through, traffic downstream will be possible soon after, but it is hard to predict what the Situation is going to be upstream - with a broken river embankment between Regensburg and Passau. Automated measuring of river levels does not work any more properly.

Update 2013-06-09: 09:19 CEST: Levels are still high but stable. The high water peak is now between Slovakia and Hungary. However, is is uncertain when the whole Danube is shipable again. Especially the Regensburg - Passau stretch is critical. Damage here can not be estimated until the water levels are back to normal and the areas are not flooded any more. In case you are curious why I did not post for a few days, I am going to give you a detailed report on the Danube later.

Update 2013-06-09: 15:15 CEST: Budapest now gets flooded, see pictures above (Bem Square). First local river cruise line is going to operate in Passau from tomorrow on - just downstream of the suspension bridge which is still to low for cruise ships.

Elbe:

Critical high waters on the Elbe tributaries in Saxony and Thuringia states. Levels are rising but river is still shipable. The levels did not rise as fast as predicted, but now they are at Usti nad Labem (Cz).

Update 2013-06-03 14:45 CEST: Mayor of Praha / Prague on TV: Not advisable to go to the city at the moment. Zoo is evacuated. Dresden on the Elbe expects a high water of 900cm at least.

Update 2013-06-03 21:20 CEST: Levels are still rising, Meissen expects to get flooded tonight as the protection just goes as far up as 780cm, last data published showed 754cm at 3pm. Levels upstream are still rising. Dresden is now at 695cm.

Update 2013-06-04 11:45 CEST: Pirna (upstream of Dresden flooded. Levels on the Elbe still rising, Dresden is at 744 now. So still about 150cm below predicted peak.

Update 2013-06-04 19:54 CEST: Elbe gets critical, the peak of the flood (Elbe & Vlatva) wave will pass Usti nad Labem tonight, then making it's way through the Saxony Swiss to Dresden. Furthermore severe floodings, damage and evacuations along the german tributaries. While the Rhine & Danube situation seems to ease up, the Elbe gets worse. German authorities expect it to top the 2002 high water marks.

Update 2013-06-05 10:43 CEST: The peak wave has reached the German-Czech border today. Situation below still very critical, a lot of villages and towns are flooded. Citizens were asked to leave the area.

Update 2013-06-04 11:45 CEST: The peak of the flood is going to pass Dresden on Thursday morning. Schöna (first german town along the Elbe) hit the 1000cm mark tonight. City of Meissen is flooded at the moment with level of 917cm. The federal states further downstream are monitoring the situation closely, expecting it to be even worse than the 2002 flood. The crest of the flood is going to be in Hamburg between Thursday and Sunday. Automated measuring of river levels does not work any more properly.

Update 2013-06-09: 09:19 CEST: While Dresden was lucky, the situation is bad downstream: Some city quarters of Magdeburg are evacuated at the moment. In this sector of the Elbe, the levels are higher than 2002. The whole river is code purple at the moment.

Main:

First wave reached it's peak at the 28th of May, now rising levels on the whole river, since 05-31 exceeded it's first peak. At the moment, the levels are critical but stable, still rising. However, not much rain today, this might show effects tomorrow. At the moment (Sunday, noon), some levels are still rising (ca. 10cm / hour), while others stalled on high level for a few hours.

Update 2013-06-03 21:20 CEST: Levels are still rising slightly on the Main, but they are already dropping on its tributaries. Since noon it stopped raining in the Main Basin.

Update 2013-06-04 11:45 CEST: Good news here: Levels are stable on high level, not rising after they have reached their peak tonight.

Update 2013-06-04 19:54 CEST: Levels at Bamberg are dropping now since 6 am, downstream of Würzburg still rising.

Update 2013-06-05 10:43 CEST: Second wave of the high water is between Würzburg and Steinbach at this moment. Further upstream at Bamberg levels dropped from 542 down to 500 since yesterday.

Update 2013-06-04 11:45 CEST: Level at Bamberg are below 500cm again. The peak wave is at Wertheim at this moment.

Update 2013-06-09: 09:19 CEST: Levels dropping rapidly over the whole length of the Main river. However, there are local thunderstorms announced for southern Germany with 15-20L / squaremeter. Prognosis estimates that single stations can go back up to code orange for short time.

Rhine:

Since this morning (2013-06-01) the Rhine is not shipable between Basel and Strasbourg (Kembs lock). The lower Rhine is still ok, most of the Main water is not discharged yet. Due to the direction of the bad weather formation, the Moselle does not cause any problems, so this are some good news.. However, the Main adds a significant amount of water to the Rhine level.

Update 2013-06-03 14:45 CEST: Rhine still closed, levels are slightly dropping at the moment. Germany and France had flooded meadows on purpose. Levels are going to rise again before they finally are going to drop.

Update 2013-06-03 21:20 CEST: Levels are dropping now from Basel down to Mannheim since noon.

Update 2013-06-04 11:45 CEST: Levels are dropping, Mannheim is at 800cm (was 830 tonight)

Update 2013-06-04 19:54 CEST: Ships won't be able to navigate on the Rhine at least until June 5th.

Update 2013-06-05 10:43 CEST: Levels are slightly dropping but still high (Mannheim e.g. dropped about 10%).

Update 2013-06-09: 09:19 CEST: Levels dropping rapidly over the whole length of the Rhine river. The peak of the high water is at the german border to the Netherlands around Arnhem now. However, there are local thunderstorms announced for southern Germany with 15-20L / squaremeter. Prognosis estimates that single stations can go back up to code orange for short time.

River Cruise line reacts

Some cruises are cancelled, others just switch ships around. Every bit of information I get will be below, so if there is nothing from a particular cruise line, expect their cruises to take place & passengers getting bussed around.

APT: click here (unconfirmed from cruise critic board)
- 6 June 2013 – Travelmarvel Johann Strauss from Amsterdam to Budapest
- 7 June 2013 – APT AmaDante from Budapest to Amsterdam
- 8 June 2013 – APT AmaBella from Amsterdam to Budapest
- 8 June 2013 – APT AmaVerde from Budapest to Amsterdam

Avalon announced it on Facebook: click here For those without FB, here are the cancellations:
- The June 7th departure of Blue Danube Discovery (WBN 30607) aboard the Avalon Luminary
- The June 7th departure of Jewels of Central Europe (WBR 30607) aboard the Avalon Luminary
- The June 10th departure of Austrian Highlights & Bavaria (WVP 30610) aboard the Avalon Affinity

Grand Circle Travel: click here:
Cancelled:
The Great Rivers of Europe: 6/4 and 6/8 departures
Essence of the Elbe: Berlin to Prague: 6/8 departure

Scheduled and taking place:
Grand European Cruise: 6/7 departure
Eastern Europe to the Black Sea: 6/7, 6/9, and 6/15 departures
Romance of the Rhine & Mosel: 6/7 departure
Essence of the Elbe: Berlin to Prague: 6/15 departure
Old World Prague & the Blue Danube: 6/20 departure

Scenic: click here (from Cruise Critic)
Cancelled
May 30 – The Blue Danube
June 6 – The Blue Danube
June 2 – Grand European Cruise
June 2 – Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat
June 14 – Budapest to the Black Sea – The surge of the Danube river is currently in Bratislava and is expected to pass Budapest Tuesday-Wednesday. The impact of the surge as it heads from Budapest to the Black Sea is unknown at this time, so the departure was canceled.
Modified:
June 7 – Rhine and Moselle – Our vessel, ms Swiss Jewel, is currently in Mannheim, several hours away. As a result, we will not be able to embark the ship as originally scheduled. Our first two nights will be spent at Swissôtel Le Plaza Basel; our welcome dinner will be held at a local restaurant the first evening. Day 2, we will be sightseeing in Basel and Lucerne as originally scheduled. Day 3, we plan to travel to Strasbourg for sightseeing and lunch and plan to embark ms Swiss Jewel in the evening.

Uniworld: click here (official statement)
River Ambassador
Grand Danube & Prague. Prague to Belgrade. June 7 cruise/tour start date.
Danube Discovery & Prague. Prague to Vienna. June 7 cruise/tour start date.
River Beatrice
Enchanting Danube. Passau to Budapest. June 9 cruise/tour start date.
Update: " We have now completed an updated review of all sailings scheduled to depart between June 10 and June 16, 2013. Unfortunately we are forced to cancel one additional sailing – the June 16 European Jewels departure on the River Empress."

Vantage on Facebook: click here

An Update on the High Water Situation in Europe:

Our operations and navigation team in Budapest is closely monitoring the situation, and remains in constant contact with local authorities. Based on current conditions we plan to operate all departures as scheduled. Since local conditions change by the hour from place to place, we are prepared to provide alternate activities should changes become necessary. Your safety is our number one priority, and we appreciate your flexibility as we continue to safeguard it.

Viking: click here (official statement)
Taking place with modified itineraries:
1. June 5th Romantic Danube (Budapest to Nuremberg) aboard Viking Odin
2. June 5th Romantic Danube (Nuremberg to Budapest) aboard Viking Freya
3. June 8th Romantic Danube (Nuremberg to Budapest) aboard Viking Njord
4. June 8th Romantic Danube (Budapest to Nuremberg) aboard Viking Idun
5. June 8th Grand European Tour (Budapest to Amsterdam) aboard Viking Embla
6. June 8th Passage to Eastern Europe (Bucharest to Budapest) aboard Viking Aegir
7. June 8th Grand European Tour (Amsterdam to Budapest) aboard Viking Forseti
8. June 9th Rhine Getaway (Basel to Amsterdam) aboard Viking Sun
9. June 9th Rhine Getaway (Amsterdam to Basel) aboard Viking Helvetia
10. June 9th Elegant Elbe (Berlin to Prague) aboard Viking Schumann
11. June 9th Elegant Elbe (Prague to Berlin) aboard Viking Fontane
12. June 9th Romantic Danube (Budapest to Nuremberg) aboard MS Vienna
13. June 9th Grand European Tour (Budapest to Amsterdam) aboard Viking Tor
14. June 9th Grand European Tour (Amsterdam to Budapest) aboard Viking Var
15. June 12th Grand European Tour (Budapest to Amsterdam) aboard Viking Sky
16. June 16th Grand European Tour (Amsterdam to Budapest) aboard Viking Bragi

The following sailings have been canceled:

June 8th Elegant Elbe (Berlin to Prague) aboard Viking Schumann
June 8th Elegant Elbe (Prague to Berlin) aboard Viking Fontane
June 8th Romantic Danube (Nuremberg to Budapest) aboard Viking Njord
June 8th Romantic Danube (Budapest to Nuremburg) aboard Viking Idun
June 9th Grand European Tour (Budapest to Amsterdam) aboard Viking Tor
June 9th Romantic Danube (Budapest to Nuremburg) aboard Viking Prestige
June 9th Danube Waltz (Passau to Budapest) aboard Viking Legend
June 9th Romantic Danube (Budapest to Nuremberg) aboard MS Vienna
June 12th Romantic Danube (Nuremberg to Budapest) aboard Viking Odin
June 12th Romantic Danube (Budapest to Nuremberg) aboard Viking Freya