Flooding alarm! Markkleeberg prepares evacuation plans in the event of a disaster
By Alexander Bischoff
The situation is serious, but not hopeless: the Strabag construction company began work on securing the canal between Störmthaler and Markkleeberger See on Friday. The slope shows massive damage to the slope, which also affects the stability of the lock.
The structure is so far the only barrier between the Markkleeberger and the Störmthal lake, which is 4.20 meters higher. At a press conference of the crisis team, Markkleeberg’s mayor Karsten Schütze (54, SPD) hinted at what would happen if it no longer held.
The lower urban areas in the east could be flooded “a few meters”. The wave would even spill as far as Leipzig. The general decree of the district office speaks of the endangerment of thousands of citizens.
For this worst-case scenario, the city is working with the fire Department just alerting and evacuation plans. In the near future, all residents should be informed about a corresponding siren alarm and its consequences by means of an information letter. “This is purely of a preventive nature,” Schütze tried to reassure.
Tidal wave? “Assume nothing will happen!”
The head of the mining rehabilitation company LMBV, Bernd Sablotny (57), also said optimistically: “We are assuming that nothing will happen.” Nevertheless, he wants to “seal” Lake Störmthal as quickly as possible.
This is to be done with two huge sheet pile walls, which will be rammed into the canal 300 meters above the lock over the next few weeks. Then a “water stair” consisting of three sheet pile walls of different heights will be installed 75 meters below the lock.
According to Sablotny, all of this should be in place by mid-May. The risk of flooding would then be averted, so that the two lakes could be reopened for swimming and water sports from June.
However, the water tourism connection between the two lakes will remain cut for much longer. Because after securing, the sewer and lock must first be thoroughly examined.
Cavities could have formed under the lock
The experts fear that cavities could have formed under the lock, which was built on the old dump site.
The LMBV boss did not want to comment on whether this would mean the end of the sea connection or whether the lock would have to be completely rebuilt.
And what does the closure mean for water sports enthusiasts and residents? According to District Administrator Henry Graichen (44, CDU), the boats that have already been circled can remain in both lakes, but are not allowed to be used.
Passenger shipping will also be discontinued. And even the water police stationed at Lake Störmthal cannot use their boats.
Whether the canoe park can continue to be open for competitive sports will be decided in the next few days. Bicycle and footpaths on the lake should remain usable for the time being.
Cover photo: Image montage: Frank Schmidt, dpa / Jan Woitas
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Leipzig flooding alarm Markkleeberg prepares evacuation plans event disaster