Erftstadt after the flood disaster: “I would not survive this anymore”

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Emma Teitel
Emma Teitel
Emma Teitel is an award-winning national affairs columnist with the Toronto Star who writes about anything and everything. She got her start at Maclean's Magazine where she wrote frequently about women's issues, LGBT rights, and popular culture.

Erftstadt, one month after the disaster. Still being cleared, no trace of normality. Construction workers left marks on the asphalt to indicate the danger near the demolition edge. The former residents are allowed to return to their homes temporarily – but many can no longer imagine living here:

OT Maria Dunkel, flood victims

The pictures went around the world. On July 16, it looked like this in the district of Blessem. Quite a number of houses had fallen into the adjacent gravel pit, carried away by the flood of the Erft. Other buildings were later demolished due to the risk of collapse. Even a month later, the experiences of those affected are still profound.

OT Thomas Dunkel, son of flood victims

Maria Dunkel and her husband have found a temporary solution nearby. Still looking into the future worries her. Will there be a buyer for your house after the repair? And how expensive is the repair? In this respect, state aid is more of a drop in the ocean.

OT Thomas Dunkel, son of flood victims

Even after a month, people have not come to rest – there is too much to do. Most still did not have time to process the shock.

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