Many roads, including the A620 Autobahn in Saarbrücken, were inundated and closed
© Harald TittelMany roads, including the A620 Autobahn in Saarbrücken, were inundated and closed
Large parts of the German state of Saarland were hit by flooding on Friday. Fortunately, no one has been injured so far, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The ministry spoke of a "widespread flooding situation" with a focus on the southeastern part of the state. In the cities, the situation was tense in the state capital of Saarbrücken, in Saarbrücken-Russhütte, in Eppelborn, Neunkirchen, Gersweiler, St. Wendel, Saarlouis and Merzig.

In some places, residents had to be moved from apartments in isolated streets. Some nursing homes, such as one in Marpingen, also had to be evacuated.

Severe rain warnings were in effect for much of the west of the country on Friday, but Saarland ended up bearing the brunt of the downpour.

Due to the severe flooding in Saarland, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz canceled a European Parliament election campaign appointment planned for Saturday in the state. Instead, he will visit parts of Saarland with state Premier Anke Rehlinger to get an idea of the situation on the ground, regional government spokesman Julian Lange said.

100 liters of rain per square meter in less than 24 hours

The German Weather Service (DWD) recorded massive rainfall in the Saarland on Friday, for which rivers and infrastructure were not prepared.

By 7 p.m., 107 liters per square meter had fallen in Saarbrücken-Ensheim and Berus in the Saarlouis district, the DWD meteorologist said on request. That equates to 10.7 centimeters or roughly 4.2 inches of rain measured vertically.

In Tholey in the St. Wendel district, 103 liters per square meter had fallen, in Saarbrücken Burbach 100 liters.

For comparison, In the entire month of April last year, about 74 liters of rain per square meter were measured on average in Saarland, and that was one-sixth more precipitation than normal for that month.

The heavier showers are expected to subside in the coming hours, the DWD meteorologist said Friday evening. However, the DWD warned of extremely heavy continuous rain in the Saarland until 2 a.m. on Saturday morning.

dh/msh (dpa, AFP)