Angela Merkel visits areas particularly affected by the catastrophic floods of mid-July. The Chancellor will be accompanied by Prime Minister Armin Laschet.
Schalksmühle (dpa) – According to Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), a lot of patience is needed for the reconstruction of the areas devastated by the floods in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. “The reconstruction will take a long time,” Merkel said at a press conference in Hagen.
Merkel had previously visited areas with North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) which were particularly hard hit by the July floods. In Hagen, she visited a bridge that was badly damaged by the flooding, but is nearing completion.
Interview with firefighters
She was impressed by a conversation with the colleagues of two firefighters who died in the Sauerland flood. The Chancellor’s visit was a “special gift”, said Schalksmühle Volunteer Fire Chief Dirk Kersenbrock.
In the catastrophic flooding in Altena on July 14, a 46-year-old firefighter fell into the water after rescuing a man and walked away. Soon after, his colleagues could only save him dead. Less than two hours later, a 52-year-old firefighter collapsed and died. “Of course I was shocked,” Kersenbrock said. All the firefighters did a voluntary service to the community.