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Storms raise flood alert level on Lake Constance

a mother and small child wade through water near a sign which reads "Gottlieben" at a pier.
Shore promenades, car parks, and garden restaurants are under water, for example in Gottlieben in canton Thurgau. Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

On Sunday, a thunderstorm worsened the flooding situation on Lake Constance in northeast Switzerland.

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In canton Thurgau, the fire brigade had to pump out several flooded cellars. In Berlingen, the road through the village on Untersee west of Constance, has been closed.

Following constant rainfall on Sunday, the second-highest danger level is now in effect at Lake Constance. This means there is a high risk of flooding around the entire lake.

+ Parts of Switzerland and Germany waterlogged as heavy rains continue

The situation is most tense in Untersee, at the western part of Lake Constance. According to the Federal Office for the Environment, the water level on Monday morning was only just below the highest of five danger levels. Lakeshore promenades, car parks, and garden restaurants are under water, for example in Gottlieben and Berlingen in canton Thurgau.

Amidst a tense situation, two streams burst their banks in Berlingen on Sunday after a heavy thunderstorm and flowed through parts of the village, the mayor, Ueli Oswald, told the Keystone-SDA news agency. As a result, the cantonal road through the village of Berlingen is currently closed.

In 1999, the water level was around 65 centimetres higher

Due to Sunday’s thunderstorm, Thurgau cantonal police received around 120 damage reports from the canton between Sunday evening and Monday morning, a police spokesperson told the Keystone-SDA news agency. These were mainly flooded cellars.

+ Urban flooding slowly becomes a priority issue for Switzerland

Despite the high flood danger level on Lake Constance, the canton of Thurgau has not yet set up a crisis team. Compared to the extreme flooding situation in 1999, the current situation is much less alarming. At that time, the maximum lake level at the Berlingen measuring station was around 65 centimetres higher than the value on Monday morning.

Adapted from German by DeepL/dkk/sb

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI swissinfo.ch we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

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