Floods in Austria

News | Vienna Review | July / August 2013




The Full Extent is Now Visible, 14 June

by Eva Winroither

It is a beautiful day in the Wachau, the hills glow green in the sun, the Danube flows quietly by, and even in the small village of Emmersdorf one hardly remembers that two weeks ago the entire community was under water.

The streets have been scrubbed clean, there is no mud to be seen. But the damage is enormous. If you look closely, you see that the plaster on the houses is crumbling, where the water in places rose as high as the first floor.

[…] Erika Pritz is one of the many residents of Emmersdorf who was badly affected by the flood. Although she could keep most of the water out of her hotel with pumps and by boarding it up (a lesson from the 2002 flood) – nevertheless, a few rooms were completely destroyed.

"The water was up to here." Pritz indicates a spot about 1.5 metres high. The room is completely ruined; in other rooms the carpets had to be torn out, the wall sockets had to be reinstalled – only the walls have dried out. In the dining room, however, you hardly notice anything except for the mouldy odour, which Pritz attempts to dispel with countless flowers and scented candles.





Starting Over After the Apocalypse, 13 June

by Sabine Karrer

The flood of the century came soundlessly in the night between Sunday and Monday [9 to 10 June]. The local bar and restaurant owners had just a few hours along the New Danube [in Vienna] to move all their worldly possessions to safety from the mass of water. Too little time for most. "We didn’t manage to save all the equipment," said Mohammed Abdul Aziz a few days after the catastrophe.

After the death of his boss two months earlier, Aziz had just taken over the Taverna Ios, where he had worked for 18 years previously. You can see that this man has had very little sleep in the last few days. Along with his co-workers, Aziz has been working day and night to put it back into shape. "I’ve experienced three floods here, but it’s never been as bad as this", he says. But he wants to carry on: "We hope that our customers will return again soon."




Frank Helps Out, 7 June

by Hans Rauscher

Frank is donating generously. Not for the personal development of his Team Stronach, but 500,000 [euros] for victims of the flood. How nice! And this way Stronach is joining the many Austrians who have also donated (although not as much) to the flood victims.

But Frank is also thinking about other people's money. He would like, for example, for everyone who receives income from the state or state-owned companies to donate 10 per cent of their income for flood relief. And in general, everyone else should contribute one-half to one per cent. Whoever calls "Frank’s Flood Relief" should automatically pay five euros. This is, however, reminiscent of so-called premium numbers that are promoted by private broadcasters after midnight.

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