When I started my "ebook", "Reflections - Nachdenken/neknedhcaN" - I realized that I would need several approaches to increase the awareness of people to climate change.
The Arctic is so far away from the experience of most people that I must create an "arctic experience" much further south, So this chapter, a tale of three villages and the flooding that occurred here just over night, Wednesday/Thursday July 14/15 2021, intends to illustrate on a personal level what might occur "here", This is personal - you are invited to board the next "Ark" . Noah aka Irving Finkel
This chapter is also dedicated to Armin, long time neighbour, writer, and guide for the
second village, Odendorf.
I begin with another village, Heimerzheim. The village is the lowest of the three at 131m; it is also the youngest with an historical mention in 1074. I visited the town on Saturday April 1, 2023, nearly two years after the flooding to witness what had happened and what was happening.
Let me begin with my photo of our son's "Kindergarten" which he attended nearly 40 years earlier.
It is the yellow building - I do not know if it has reopened.
Here is an aerial view just after the flood with the building in the upper left, the pathway on which I was standing to take my photo being the gray "vertical" line right of centre appearing from the tree cover. The bridge is washed out.
The photo is via Goggle - I do not know the source.
There is also a recording made from a drone at about the same time.
About 2 minutes to 3min into the drone video one can see the yellow building that once was the Kindergarten, At the end another video is offered: A slit screen drive down the Ahr
- a before and after comparison. I cannot express the pain to those who have walked the Rotwein Wanderweg, or who have run in Dernau on the 17th of June, Tag der Deutscheeinheit, I think it was called. I have actually won a bottle of "Läufertropchen"
The Indigenous People remind us to plan ahead for seven generations. Less than 40 years have passed since our son went to this school.
Our walk on Saturday began at the foot of the hillside. A lovely Forsythia was in bloom
The stream, the Swist, is out of sight, maybe 200m away. The village lies ahead of us and to the right. The flooding reached the bush. The rest of these photos would have been taken in very deep swift-flowing water on that morning. Fortunate to be able to stand in the gentle rain on this occasion.
The dark mark on this surviving building records the level the muddy waters reached - note that the car would have been under water - it would have been swept away had it been there that night. In the aftermath containers were used to house people and shops.
It is difficult to imagine - even as I stood there in the street - that the water could rise from a typical depth of 70 to 80 cm to the depth here of 7 to 8 meters.
On this day April 1, 2023, the stream was comfortably in its bed while Koi swam with the ducks.
This was quite emotional for me - to witness and two months later to describe. I shall take a pause and resume with Odendorf on another day.