Flood Control Management in Leipzig
Situated at the intersection of three rivers, the Weiße Elster, Pleiße and Parthe, Leipzig has always been vulnerable to the danger of flooding. To combat this danger, the river beds have been expanded and mechanical flood control and diversion systems have been installed. Maps of Leipzig's flood hazard areas along the Weiße Elster and Parthe can be viewed at the Office of Environmental Protection.
In the Event of a Flood
If a flood threat arises, a special unit of experts from the Office of Environmental Protection, the Fire Department and the Department of Public Order, under the direction of the Mayor for Environment, Public Order, and Sports, Heiko Rosenthal, in close cooperation with the State Dam Authority, the administrations of neighbouring districts and the Leipzig Police Department, will be deployed around the clock. They will analyse the situation and implement measures appropriate to the assessed risk level.
Answers to your Questions
- Keep current on weather reports and flood warnings provided by radio stations and the video text feature of regional television stations. Make sure others in your house are informed as well.
- Check your emergency supplies and replace any needed supplies.
- Clear out any rooms which are in danger of being flooded.
- Seal any doors, windows or drains which may become flooded.
- Secure heating and electrical devices in rooms which may flood and shut them off. The danger of electrical shock exists even when there is only condensation! Take appropriate measures with freezers.
- Check the drainage system and non-return valve in the cellar.
- Act promptly to remove vehicles from garages or car parks that may be at risk.
- In the event of the release of toxic materials, inform the Fire Department.
- Additional information for motor vehicles:
- Do not drive on flooded streets. If water penetrates the engine compartment, it can cause extensive damage. In addition, the operating temperature of a catalytic converter is approximately 700°C - sudden cooling can cause the ceramic core to crack.
- If the floodwaters reach to the oil pan or over the tires of the vehicle, you should not, under any circumstances, attempt to start the vehicle. Have it towed to an auto repair shop to be checked by a mechanic.
Sandbags and sand cannot be provided by or purchased from the local authorities. They can be found in specialty shops, at building material suppliers or in home-improvement stores. Names and addresses can be found in the Yellow Pages or the local telephone book.
Alarm levels are provided by the Lower Water Authority on the basis of flood information, such as water levels, emerging trends, etc. They serve to ensure that the appropriate authorities, as well as other parties and the general public, are informed and prepared to implement and carry out flood management measures.
Alarm Level I - Alert
There is no danger. At the beginning of an alert, authorities are required to monitor the situation and emerging trends, and to take appropriate action as necessary.
Alarm Level II - Inspection
There is no danger. Regular inspections are conducted on waterways, dikes, at water management plants, flood-threatened buildings and flood zones. The local water authority goes into stand-by mode.
Alarm Level III - Flood Watch
Natural flood zones begin to flood. Danger is posed by accumulations of ice or debris in the water. At critical flood control points, operational units will be posted and special communication systems established. On-going watch will be kept on the dikes. Personnel and materials for active flood control will be organised, put on stand-by, implemented and/or requested.
Alarm Level IV - Flood Control
The flooding becomes uncontrollable. Lives and health are at risk, as are material goods and the infrastructure. The Disaster Management Team is alerted and takes over operations. Evacuation measures are prepared for humans and animals, and evacuations are carried out. Dikes are reinforced. Preventative measures are taken to remove or minimize hazards, and active efforts are implemented to combat existing hazards and damage.
- Remove standing water and mud, but wait to pump out the affected rooms until the flood waters have receded and the ground water level has lowered sufficiently. Pay attention to the information of your municipal.
- Flooring and carpets should be inspected by removing or opening them.
- To combat water damage, mould and other infestations, dry affected areas as soon as possible. Space heaters can aid in the drying-out process.
- Have damaged structures inspected by a structural engineer.
- Do not use electrical devices and systems until they have been inspected by an electrician.
- Heating oil tanks should be checked for damage.
- In the event that toxins, such as pesticides, paint, varnish, cleaning agents or heating oil, have been released into the environment, notify the fire department. The removal of toxins must be carried out by specialized companies.
- In the event of an oil spill, consult the fire department before using any oil-binding agents.
- When working in flood-damaged rooms, be sure that there is adequate ventilation. If toxins have been released, smoking and open flames are prohibited.
- Dispose of ruined furniture and food items.
- Fruit, vegetables and lettuce grown in flooded areas should not be consumed.
- Gardens and fields that have been covered in oil sludge must be reported to the district administrative office (Landratsamt) or the Department of Agriculture (Amt für Landwirtschaft).
- Once the flood waters have receded, the presence of pests, such as mosquitos, may dramatically increase. Therefore, keep a supply of insect spray on hand or purchase some immediately.
There is normally a charge for flood damage assistance from rescue companies, the fire department or private companies. Emergency calls to the local fire department may be made to the telephone number 112.
Responsibility for flood management is assigned according to the designated order of the waterway.
- The Free State of Saxony bears responsibility for first-order waterways, which in Leipzig include the Parthe, Pleiße and Weiße Elster rivers, including their flood beds, as well as the Elster flood bed, the Kleine Luppe, Elsterbecken, Nahle and Neue Luppe.
- All other waterways are under the responsibility of the City of Leipzig's Office of Environmental Protection, Lower Water Authority.
- Dam Authority for the Lower Pleiße in Rötha (Talsperrenmeisterei Untere Pleiße); Telephone: +49 (0) 34206 58-80
- Leipzig River Authority (Flussmeisterei Leipzig); Telephone: +49 (0) 341 4867-80
- City of Leipzig Office of Environmental Protection (Amt für Umweltschutz der Stadt Leipzig); Telephone: +49 (0) 341 123-3409
Information regarding flood risks to specific buildings and properties within the city of Leipzig can be obtained from:
City of Leipzig Office for Environmental Protection, Lower Water Authority (Amt für Umweltschutz der Stadt Leipzig; Untere Wasserbehörde); Telephone: +49 (0) 341 123-3418