Citizens in Erfstadt-Blessem are alarmed: just a few weeks after the devastating flood disaster, the level of the Erft has risen sharply again. But the city is clear.
In mid-July, the flood disaster led to Erftstadt-Bless at Cologne to a huge landslide – now citizens are concerned again: the persistent rainfall of the past few days caused the level of the Erft River to rise again. This caused a dam near the Blessem gravel pit to be flooded. In the meantime, however, the dam is tight again, says a spokeswoman for Mayor Carolin Weitzel (CDU). “The dam is closed.” They worked all night.
In a night operation with heavy equipment and about 50 to 60 helpers, the breach in the dam was closed on Monday morning. “It was a really big construction site with floodlights and technical assistance,” said Bernd Bucher, board member of the Erft Association. There was no danger to the residents. “Still, we didn’t want to take any extra risk here, especially so as not to unnecessarily upset the population.”
City: There was no danger
On Sunday evening, the population was announced via loudspeaker announcements Fire brigade informed about the situation. This sometimes led to uncertainty. A resident of Blessem told the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”: “Anyone who has not yet had a heart attack…” However, the city emphasized that despite the continued rain of recent days and the flooding of the dam caused by it, there was no danger. The edge of the gravel pit has been well secured in recent weeks.
On the night of July 16, a landslide had occurred near the gravel pit. Several houses were swept away, creating a huge crater. Many residents suspect the landslide is related to the gravel pit. Mayor Weitzel has announced that the Geological Survey will be an independent expert North Rhine-Westphalia investigation into the cause of the erosion. The public prosecutor’s office in Cologne is investigating the suspicion of construction risk.
Bucher spoke out in favor of filling the crater with earth. “We think the whole thing will only calm down if we fill this entire crater,” he said. Otherwise, the Erft would flow past the crater in an elevated position a short distance away, which is always a safety hazard. The necessary soil can be removed from the surrounding fields. Instead of the crater, a natural retention space must then be created in which the Erft can spread out safely in the event of flooding. Such a space would have both an ecological value and a high recreational value. He hopes this can be addressed soon.