Germany – Evacuations in Lower Saxony After Rivers Reach Record Highs

Several rivers overflowed causing flooding in parts of northern Germany on Wednesday 26 July after a period of heavy rain.

The worst of the flooding occurred in the mountainous Harz region of Germany. Brocken, the highest peak of the Harz mountain range, recorded 117 mm of rain in 24 hours on 25 July, according to Deutsche Wetterdienst (DWD).

At least 4 rivers reached record highs in the state of Lower Saxony. As of early 27 July, rivers were still at danger level (level 3 of 4) in at least 10 locations.

The small city of Goslar in Lower Saxony, situated about 15 km north west of Brocken, was left isolated for a  time after flooding blocked roads in and out of the area. The district authorities declared a disaster situation (Katastrophenfall) around midday on Wednesday.

Parts of Goslar’s historic old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were under water. Around 120 people were evacuated from a home for the elderly in the city and a few other residents from areas of the old town.

Goslar District authorities said that the flooding in the city was a result of the overflowing Gose and Abzucht rivers, two small rivers which converge just outside the city and and continue close to the historic area as the Abzucht.

In nearby Bad Harzburg train services were interrupted after tracks were flooded. Flood water up to 20 cm deep was reported in the town’s streets. Local firefighters were called in to help clear the flood water.

In the city of Hildesheim, residents and emergency workers filled sandbags and shored up temporary flood defences as the Innerste River threatened to overflow.

At 08:00 on Wednesday levels of the Innerste reached 7.14 metres in Heinde, just south of Hildesheim, beating the previous record of 6.75m set in 2007.

Around a dozen people were evacuated in Hildesheim. Local media said that authorities had prepared evacuation plans for around over 1,000 residents living close to the river should the temporary defences not hold. As of the afternoon 26 July levels of the Innerste had started to drop.

Bad Salzdetfurth, a nearby town on the banks of the River Lamme, was cut off for a short time after flooding blocked roads to the town.

A home for the elderly was evacuated after flooding in Alfeld, which is situated south west of Hildesheim on banks of the River Leine.


Apart from the Innerste at Heinde, at least 3 other rivers in the region reached record highs yesterday.

The Oker River at Schladen reached 3.56 metres on 26 July, beating the previous high of 3.10 set in 2007.

The Grane at Margarethenklippe (close to Goslar) reached 1.59 metres, above the 0.905 metres high of 2007.

The Nette at Groß Rhüden reached 3.91 metres, above the previous high of 3.66m.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: July 27, 2017
Northern Germany, July 2017
July 26, 2017
River flood
Extreme rainfall


A - Goslar
B - Bad Harzburg
C - Hildesheim
D - Bad Salzdetfurth


Rainfall level
117 mm in 24 hours
Brocken - July 25 to July 25, 2017
River level
7.14 metres
Innerste River at Heinde - July 26 to July 26, 2017
River level
3.56 metres
Oker River at Schladen - July 26 to July 26, 2017
The Nette at Groß Rhüden reached 3.91 metres, above the previous high of 3.66
River level
1.59 metres
Grane River at Margarethenklippe (near Goslar) - July 26 to July 26, 2017
River level
3.91 metres
Nette at Groß Rhüden - July 26 to July 26, 2017


200 people
July 26 to July 27, 2017