Sunday, 01 August 2021
LEICHLINGEN got off “fairly lightly” as Germany suffered devastating flooding this week.
Rain and storms have caused rivers and reservoirs to burst their banks causing damage to homes and roads.
Evacuations began in Henley’s twin town on Monday due to flash flooding but there have so far been no reports of any fatalities there.
The death toll throughout Germany and neighbouring Belgium has passed 150 people with many more injured.
Two of Germany’s western states, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, have been hit the worst.
Trevor Howell, a member of the Henley Falaise Leichlingen Twinning Association, said: “It seems that Leichlingen has got off fairly lightly. We’ve had no reports of deaths or major disasters as they are on the edge of the problem rather than in the centre.
“Obviously we are very sympathetic to the problem but we can’t get through to anyone because their technology is down.”
Mr Howell said there is “much more damage” to the outskirts of the town in Sinneswalk, a sculpture theme park, run by friends of his. He said: “Wicze Braun and Wolfgang Brudes live in a large old mill-house in an idyllic wooded valley with what was a small river running through it and two ponds at either end.
“For the last 25 years they have commissioned artists and sculptors to take part in themed events and these works are dotted around the estate, both among the wooded hillside and by the two ponds.
“They have been my hosts over many years of twinning exchanges and it has been a real shock hearing the report of the damage to their property. Many artworks have been simply swept away and their performance cellar is a complete mess with a grand piano turned upside down and mud everywhere.”
Mr Howell is now encouraging people to donate to the twin town to help it repair some of its infrastructure.
He said: “Some of the damage isn’t as bad as they first thought but nevertheless they do have some extensive things to repair. We have sent supportive emails and hope they get through. Donating is something I’d like people to consider because it is going to be very costly.”
To donate, a bank transfer can be made to Förderverein Sinneswald, IBAN: DE 18 3705 0299 0370 5558 03.
22 July 2021
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