Fears German dam could collapse as severe flooding hits Europe A reservoir dam near Cologne, Germany is at risk of collapse as the region is hit by severe flooding.
Authorities in the Rhine-Sieg county south of Cologne have ordered the evacuation of several villages below the Steinbach reservoir amid fears the dam there could suffer a catastrophic failure.
Flooding in Germany and Belgium has so far claimed the lives of more than 100 people with hundreds more unaccounted for.
In total, 4,500 people have been evacuated from the area and are unlikely to return today with more rain forecast.
Engineers and the fire brigade worked through the night last night and this morning to pump water from the reservoir, reducing the water level by around 2cm.
A statement from the local government this morning confirmed that “The situation is now stable, but not uncritical.”
The bottom outlet of the Steinbach dam is still not working and an overflow pipe remains in place to drain more water.
The nearby stretch of Autobahn 61 is also completely closed.
The Steinbach valley drinking water dam was built from 1934 to 1936, and thoroughly renovated between 1988 and 1990.
The reservoir covers 14.6ha and is 17.4m deep at its deepest point. It has a total capacity of 1M.m3
A major renovation was carried out to dam in the 1940s after two cracks appeared in the dam’s crown and erosion was detected in its the clay core.
Further work was carried out between August 1988 to June 1990 due to fears of further erosion.
Other dams in the area have also overflowed, leading to concerns about a potential breach.
Draining is also taking place at the Rurtalsperre dam, Wupper dam and the Bever dam near Radevormwald. The residents along the Wupper River were asked to leave the area immediately.
The German regions of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia have been worst hit by the extreme weather, but the Netherlands and Belgium is also badly affected.
Landslips have been recorded in all three countries with many rail lines and roads closed.
More heavy rain is forecast across Europe on Friday, with some officials blaming climate change for the deluge.
Armin Laschet, the leader of the North Rhine-Westphalia region, blamed the extreme weather on global warming.
“We will be faced with such events over and over, and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures […] because climate change isn’t confined to one state,” he said.
This story will be updated as events unfold…
Department of Civil Engineering https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-civil-engineering/