Last summer’s floods should have served as a sufficient warning. But according to a new study, municipalities in Germany are still doing little to cope with the torrential rains.
According to a new study, cities and communities in Germany are not well prepared for the flash floods that have become more frequent after severe thunderstorms.
“Local torrential rains can occur basically anywhere, so floods can also occur far from bodies of water,” study author and sanitation specialist Theo Schmidt said Monday in Munich. The scientist said local storms can also cause billions of dollars in damage each year — and noted predictions that severe thunderstorms will occur more frequently as a result of climate change.
Schmidt is a former professor of civil engineering at the University of Kaiserslautern and a specialist in sanitation. The study’s commissioner was the Water and Environmental Responsibility Initiative, which is funded largely by the Federal Association of Building Materials Professionals. In the study, Schmidt identified several weaknesses in municipalities: the world includes a lack of warning systems as well as a lack of “heavy rain risk maps” that citizens can use to learn about potential hazards in their residential area.
“Municipals can do so much more, and they finally have to move on,” said Wolfgang Güntherth, a former professor of urban water management at the University of Bundeswehr in Neubiberg, near Munich. (dpa)