Worst floods in a decade claim lives in Germany

Plymouth Brethren - Hamburg Floods

Lauenburg Floods 2013

June 2013; thousands of volunteers and emergency personnel including firefighters and soldiers are working hard to contain the most dramatic floods in Germany in a decade.

Several days of heavy rains at the beginning of June caused dramatic flooding across many areas of Central Europe. The Elbe, which is the continent’s 4th largest river rose 7.7 meters, and in places broke its banks, making bridges and streets impassable in many regions of eastern and northern Germany.

Plymouth Brethren - Hamburg Floods

Twenty people died and thousands of residents were evacuated from their homes and put up in emergency shelters, where they waited for the floodwaters to recede.

Rapid Relief Team rallied to assist

Plymouth Brethren - Hamburg Floods

RRT Help the Sandbagging Effort

As water was rising in the north of Germany, members of the Plymouth Brethren in Hamburg quickly rallied to support emergency services at one of the city’s largest sandbagging depots. Their efforts helped to fill an average 38,000 sandbags a day! The Rapid Relief Team (RRT – Hilfe in Not) also provided drinks for the hard-working rescue personnel, DLRG (Deutsche Lebensrettungs-Gesellschaft).

Plymouth Brethren - Hamburg Floods

RRT sandbag near Hamburg

Many of the firefighters, soldiers and rescue teams expressed gratitude for their support — being exhausted,  having worked tirelessly  day and night to secure the many hundreds of kilometers of dikes in order to protect their cities and villages from the floods.

President and Chancellor visit

On his visit to flood-stricken cities, President Joachim Gauck paid tribute to the way the inhabitants had coped. He said, “It’s fantastic to see how different people get together to help others. And you notice that many of them are exhausted, but they are happy and it seems to motivate them.”

Plymouth Brethren - Hamburg Floods

RRT & the German National Army

Chancellor Angela Merkel also visited the flooded area, on four occasions. She also paid tribute, saying she was deeply impressed by the actions of the volunteers racing to fill sandbags. She promised immediate aid of 100 million Euros.

Plymouth Brethren - Hamburg Floods

Team Work

18 thoughts on “Worst floods in a decade claim lives in Germany”

  1. Grant says:

    Hey guys ,awesome work! Been through the 2013 floods in Queensland Australia and know first hand what its like. The emergency guys sure need people like you to help them. Well done!

  2. Eric says:

    Is it true that these Europe Floods are the highest cost of any natural disaster in history ?

  3. Don says:

    Charlie, yes you are right, i have just found it on this blog, see link https://www.theplymouthbrethren.org/news-views/400-called-to-fight-indianapolis-fire/

  4. Panda says:

    Good work indeed. Does the PBCC have any RRT’s in Canada? Wondering if there was any involvement in this week’s severe flooding in Alberta.

    1. cinnamon says:

      Yes there definitely was RRT helping at the Calgary Floods and tehy did an excellent job! My guess is that it has not been posted yet??

    2. JF says:

      Well, it’s not Calgary but the Montreal RRT was at work three weeks ago when a fireworks plant outside the city blew up. Over 150 firemen from 14 fire departments, mostly volunteers, were on site for close to 24 hours and needed support.

    3. pbcc kid says:

      yes Panda, there just was a recent fire in Canada, and a Canadian RRT team helped. See this post: https://www.theplymouthbrethren.org/community/kingston-experiences-the-citys-worst-fire-seen-according-to-the-fire-fighters/

  5. Person says:

    Awesome work guys!!!! I know you’d all do a fanastic job 🙂

  6. Green Tea says:

    This looks devastating esp. as 20 people died
    wow – well done eveybody! It must be v. tiring, keep it up.

  7. granny says:

    Good to see the RRT alive and kicking in Germany!!
    Excellent effort all of you!!

  8. AJ says:

    great job guys!
    btw what does “Hilfe in Not” mean?

    1. RD says:

      ‘Hilfe in not’ means ‘help in need’ according to an internet translator…

  9. Hy says:


  10. Unknown says:

    Go Hamburg RRT 🙂 Keep going… Excellent job…

  11. October says:

    3 cheers for Hamburg RRT:) Keep up the great work guys!

  12. Charlie K says:

    Speaking of disasters, did anybody hear about the fire in Indianapolis? There was a Rapid Relief Team there, I heard.

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