Western Germany mourns lost lives while dealing with the floods’ aftermath. The floods have been considered the worst natural disaster in about 60 years.
Among the deceased are 12 residents from a care home for the disabled in the Ahrweiler district. Streets and homes lie in ruins as many are left homeless.
The meteorological department noted some areas have received two months’ worth of rainfall in less than two days. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday recorded the highest rainfall levels with Wednesday battling intense storms.
Among the most devastated citizens is Dennis Brandt an artist. “I have lost over 20 years of work in my studio. Everything is gone. I had a painting school for children. Now, it’s gone too.” Brandt told Al Jazeera.
His destroyed works included a post-apocalyptic painting he worked on last year depicting a flooded Stolberg with high waters lapping around the marketplace. The artist can hardly believe he predicted the catastrophe.
Rescue operations continue despite the impassable roads, power outages, and destroyed phone networks. Over 800 soldiers have been deployed on-site using armored vehicles, helicopters, and boats.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier offered consolation to affected citizens when he visited Erftstadt on Saturday. “We mourn with those that have lost family, friends, and acquaintances. Their fate is ripping our hearts apart.” He said.