Indoor Air Quality Alert: Flooding in Southern Germany

What is the location of the flooding?

As of Tuesday, June 4, 2024, heavy rains have caused severe flooding in southern Germany (1)(2). The states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have been particularly affected, and five people have died, mostly in basements (3).

Water levels along the Danube River have risen significantly in cities like Passau and Regensburg, Germany. Other affected rivers include the Paar River near Ingolstadt and various smaller rivers and basins throughout the region.

There has been additional flooding in Austria and Hungary, and there are concerns that flooding could continue further along the river in Slovakia.

Which cities or areas are affected by the flooding?

Several cities have been impacted by the flooding.

  • Passau (Bavaria): The historic city lies at the confluence of three rivers.
  • Rosenheim (Bavaria): The city has declared a state of emergency.
  • Linz (Austria): The Danube has burst its banks.
  • Regensburg (Bavaria): There are high water levels and evacuations.
  • Markt Rettenbach (Bavaria): The town is the site of a fatality due to flooding.
  • Ludwigshafen (Rhineland-Palatinate): The town has been affected by Rhine flooding.
  • Gotteshofen (near Ingolstadt, Bavaria): This is a flood-affected area by the Paar River.
  • Baden-Württemberg: There has been a general regional impact here, including fatalities in basements.

What is the current containment status of the flooding?

Flood containment efforts are ongoing with mixed progress.

Although torrential rains have ceased, water levels remain critically high in several areas, particularly along the Danube in cities like Passau and Regensburg. In Bavaria, emergency measures are still active, with significant deployment of rescue personnel. Traffic along the Danube and Rhine rivers has been halted in several regions due to the flooding.

Are there any evacuation orders or alerts in place?

Evacuation orders have been implemented in several regions:

  • Passau: Evacuation efforts in place; motorized traffic was stopped and underground car parks emptied.
  • Regensburg: Evacuations were conducted as water levels rose.
  • Rosenheim: State of emergency was declared.

Authorities across the affected regions are continuously monitoring the situation and issuing alerts as needed to ensure the safety of residents and visitors.

How can I protect myself from mold after flooding?

It’s important to take steps to prevent mold after a flood.

  • Before entering a flooded area, make sure it is safe and free from electrical hazards or structural damage.
  • Use protective gear: wear gloves, goggles, and a KN95/FFP2 mask to minimize exposure to mold spores.
  • If there is still standing water, remove it as quickly as possible. Use pumps, wet-dry vacuums, or buckets to extract the water.
  • Open windows and doors to facilitate air circulation and use fans, dehumidifiers, and HVAC systems to help dry the space. This step is crucial within the first 24-48 hours after flooding to prevent mold growth.
  • Remove and discard any items that have been severely damaged by floodwater and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. This includes carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and any other porous materials.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with a detergent or cleaner suitable for mold remediation. Use a solution of 1.5 cups of bleach mixed with one gallon of water to disinfect nonporous surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products, as the fumes are toxic.
  • Maintain an indoor relative humidity (RH) of 35-50%. High humidity promotes mold growth, so consider using dehumidifiers in damp areas.
  • Run a high-performance air purifier for mold, both during and after the mold removal work.
  • If the flooding and mold damage are extensive, consider contacting professionals specializing in mold remediation to ensure proper cleanup and restoration.

Remember, mold can pose health risks, so it's important to take these steps promptly and thoroughly. If you experience persistent mold-related health issues or have concerns about extensive mold growth, consult with a medical professional or a mold remediation specialist.

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