The last big flood around here was in 2005. Back then I lived in Schwyz and worked in UnterÃ¤geri. I could not go to work for three days because all the roads were closed due to floods and mud slides. During this event, the apartment complex that we have been living in for the last ten and a half years was still in construction. While it was not finished, the basement and parking was completely flooded.
So when nearby “Lake Lucerne” reached the critical height of the most severe warning level again this week, our neighbors along with us worried that this could happen again. The management of the building did nothing to prevent it, while nearby buildings were much better prepared. My mother told me, that the car insurance might refuse to pay if it was predictable. So I placed my car outside for a few days. Paying for redundant parking was still less of a hassle than all the trouble that could have resulted otherwise.
Next to the house we currently live, flows a small stream that ends up in the lake. In the past week as the level of the lake rose, so did this little stream. Essentially, the lake extended back into the streams and rivers feeding it. Multiple times a day we checked the height of the water. By my guess, after another 15 centimeters more, the road would have been flooded as have many others in the village. If this happened, the water would float directly into our parking and basement.
We started fetching the most valuable stuff from the basement. But soon we decided to fetch most of the stuff. Since we are going to move house in three weeks, we just packaged up or disposed as much as we could.
My wive and hence also the kids were worried that the water could also reach our apartment. But that would have required the level of the lake to rise another 30 cm. This didn’t really worry me, as it would have extended the surface area of the lake tremendously, which would be massive amounts of additional water.
My wive now also appreciates the hillside location of our future home even more. Not much can happen up there in regards of natural dangers.
After a couple of days, the water started to recede, and the weather turned better. As I write this, the water level is already more than 10 cm lower than at its highest. To my knowledge there were no big damages around here. So our thoughts are with the People of the regions in Germany that were really badly affected by the floods.