Mainz (dpa / lrs) – The committee of inquiry into the flood disaster has taken a look at the role of the supervisory and service directorate (ADD) responsible for civil protection. A clerk from the authority said on Thursday in the committee in Mainz that it was only at noon after the night of the floods that he realized from the news that the situation in the Ahrweiler district had escalated, said Thomas Friedrich on Thursday in the investigative committee of the Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament in Mainz .
During the night he had not received any information that would have made it necessary to consider whether the ADD, which is subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, should take over the operational management of the Ahrweiler district, he reported. Friedrich was the first of a total of nine summoned witnesses from the ADD on Thursday. ADD boss Thomas Linnertz and Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (both SPD) are expected in the committee of inquiry on Friday afternoon.
According to his own statements, the 52-year-old Friedrich was second in the coordination office convened by the ADD on the evening of the flood disaster. During the night he was not in contact with the Situation Center of the Ministry of the Interior or with ADD boss Linnertz. Friedrich reported to the committee that he had tried – in vain – to get helicopters with winches in the coordination office, which later had a total of seven ADD employees. The fire and civil protection inspector in the Ahrweiler district had previously requested this to save people who had fled to the roof of a caravan at a campsite from the masses of water. “Everyone couldn’t fly because of that thunder cell.”
At least 135 people died in the flood disaster around 14 months ago in northern Rhineland-Palatinate, including 134 in the Ahr Valley. 766 people were injured. Roads, bridges, gas, electricity and water lines and around 9,000 buildings were destroyed or badly damaged over a length of 40 kilometers along the Ahr. Around 42,000 people are affected in the Ahr Valley alone, and around 65,000 nationwide. Many still live in alternative quarters.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220922-99-858493/4