After the storms in Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, the situation has largely calmed down and the big clean-up has begun. “There are currently no more critical developments, although many operations are still underway in individual key areas,” said a spokesman for the Saarland Ministry of the Interior on Sunday. “The water levels are falling almost everywhere.” However, meteorologists are warning of new storms and a lot of rain in the coming week. There were also thunderstorms in some places on Sunday.

In Saarbrücken, a woman was injured during a rescue operation and later died as a result. The 67-year-old died on Sunday evening, the city announced. She was hit by an emergency vehicle on Friday. The woman reportedly died from her injuries in a hospital.

Enormous amounts of rain caused flooding, landslides and flooded streets and cellars in Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate on Friday and into the night of Saturday. In Rhineland-Palatinate alone, there were well over 1,000 operations. “In the past 48 hours, we have experienced large-scale, widespread flooding,” said Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) on Sunday. “We will only be able to assess the extent of the damage to buildings and transport infrastructure once the acute operations have ended.” But here too, it was said that the situation had improved considerably.

Clean-up work began in Zell an der Mosel in Rhineland-Palatinate on Sunday. People waded through the water in rubber boots, cellars were pumped empty and damage was repaired. Anyone who has lived here for a long time is already familiar with the floods, said a resident. A Greek restaurateur complained that, in his experience, the number of floods had increased in recent years. It’s probably because of the climate, he said. Many of his colleagues are frustrated because there is a lack of support from politicians: “We don’t get a cent.” Meanwhile, on Sunday, some politicians spoke out in favor of stronger insurance protection against the consequences of storms.

Meanwhile, in Blieskastel in Saarland, the historic old town was freed of water using pumps. “The water is still boot-deep there, the situation is under control,” said the Interior Ministry spokesman this morning. In a Bundeswehr barracks in Lebach, on the edge of the flood area, three World War II bombs were defused as part of a larger operation. “Everything went well and without any problems,” they said afterwards. More than a thousand people had to temporarily leave their homes. In the municipalities of Neunkirchen and Ottweiler, individual streets were without power. According to the ministry, it will take another day or two until supplies are restored.

Despite the enormous masses of water – the weather service recorded more than 100 liters of rain per square meter in less than 24 hours in some places – the outcome was initially mild in terms of possible injuries or deaths. In Saarbrücken, a person had an accident during a rescue operation and had to be resuscitated. The person was treated as an inpatient. There were no new reports about the state of health on Sunday. According to government information, no one was injured in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Technical Relief Agency (THW) alone had 1,300 emergency services from all over Germany deployed in both federal states. “The water masses are currently being combated at various locations with 30 high-performance pumps. These can pump out 400,000 liters per minute. For comparison, a 25-meter-long swimming pool holds a good 60,000 liters,” it said.

The Saarland state capital Saarbrücken, as the lower disaster control authority, appealed on Sunday to all citizens to continue to be careful in the areas affected by flooding and not to take unnecessary risks. City residents could simply leave their bulky waste on the side of the road and it would then be picked up.

In the state capital, the city highway was still under water on Sunday afternoon and remained closed, as the situation center announced. A coal-fired power plant in Saarland was also flooded, as several media reported. Rail traffic came to a temporary standstill. However, this was able to start rolling again over the course of Saturday.

On Saturday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Saarland Prime Minister Anke Rehlinger also took a look at the situation on site. Wearing rubber boots, the two SPD politicians spoke to those affected, including in Kleinblittersdorf. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) meanwhile promised help: “The federal government is supporting Saarland in particular with strong forces to protect human lives after the severe floods and to limit the destruction caused by the masses of water as much as possible.”

Many residents are certainly looking at the weather forecasts for the coming week with trepidation: “It will be interesting on Tuesday,” said meteorologist Markus Böse from the German Weather Service (DWD) on Sunday in Offenbach. Then heavy rains developed again, “which from today’s perspective mainly affect the southwest of the country.” According to the meteorologists, an exact forecast was difficult because the exact centers of gravity and the amount of rain were calculated very differently by the models. But: “Parts of Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Baden-Württemberg will probably be affected.”

Although the calculated amounts of rain are not as high as last Friday, most of the rain comes from the sky within six to twelve hours, said Böse. And if Saarland and the Palatinate are again the focus of rainfall, rising water levels and possibly floods and floods must be expected there again.

Note: This article has been updated.