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Cologne is the most flood affected city in Europe and has endured the last flood with a gauge height of 10.69m. The flood of 1995 required extreme assignment of flood fighting forces and materials. Extensive damages were avoided and many people were helped in the flooded areas. Cologne was able to avert disaster just in time.
But also with lower or medium sized floods, Cologne arranges many flood measures which are coordinated of the Flood Protection Centre Cologne.
The measures of the flood control system, flood fighting and
the floodwater risk defence of the drainage domain as well as the flood
walls, dams and traffics (flood-bridges, ferry service, traffic
routing) and disaster and pumping operations are the focal points of
flood protection. For this reason, capable representatives of the city
drainage companies, roadwork companies and fire brigades are the main
members of the Flood Protection Centre Cologne. The members of the
staff are completed by members of the police, army and other central or
not central authorities (THW, DLRG).
The members of the Flood Protection Centre Cologne are the interface between the different authorities, and keep a permanent contact with them. They take care to keep in constant touch in order to coordinate the complementary protection measures.
From a level of 4.50m C. G. upward (this was given 100 days in 2002), the first flood control measures are taken. Depending on the development of the gauge height, the “Small Flood Protection Centre” takes up service and is manned according the different duties even during the week-ends and holidays.
From this water level at the latest, the Small Flood Protection Centre informs all citizens and flood involved people with flood messages either via the internet or by telephone about the water level development and about flood control measures already arranged or to be arranged. Furthermore you can contact a Citizens Advice Bureau to ask relevant questions directly.
From a gauge level of 7.00m at the latest, the “Big Flood Protection Centre” calls all involved authorities, departments and organisations to operate round-the clock. In the headquarters they coordinate the detailed measures between the involved authorities.