Central Europe is fighting floods after heavy rain and melting snow pushed rivers over their banks in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Danube River in Budapest reached a 120-year peak late Tuesday night, and is expected to take more than a week to fall back from the 8.6 metres above its normal level.

The government sent more than 10,000 soldiers and police to help thousands of volunteers who were maintaining flood defences in the city.

The Hungarian government has also banned shipping on the Danube as waves caused by the vessels lapped over flood walls.

At least 12 people have died in the past week, including an 18-month-old child in Austria who was killed when a dam broke. An 86-year-old man drowned in Bavaria after being swept away by a flooded river.

Thousands of people have had to get out of low-lying areas and towns where flood defences are under pressure, although some were allowed to return home late on Tuesday.

The Czech government decided on Wednesday to spend more than $244 million Cdn to pay for damage caused by the floods.

Austria, which currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, has agreed to ask the European Commission for money for the flooded regions in the Czech Republic, said a spokesperson for Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek.

The flooding is expected to continue for a week as snow melts in the mountains. Officials are also worried about rain forecast for later this week.