Photos: Unusually low rivers in Germany hit shipping industry hard

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Photos: Unusually low rivers in Germany hit shipping industry hard

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Photos: Unusually low rivers in Germany hit shipping industry hard
By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
October 28, 2018, 1:43:02 PM EDT

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In this picture taken Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018 people walk over stones looking out of the river Rhine to the Maeuseturm (mice tower) of Bingen, Germany, during historically low water in the river Rhine. The record low water levels are threatening cargo traffic on Europe's most heavily trafficked shipping lane. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The Pfalzgrafenstein castle from the 14th century sits on a sandbank in th e river Rhine in Kaub, Germany, during historically low water levels. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

People stand on sandbank in the river Rhine near Bingen, Germany, during historically low water levels. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Rocks show out of the river Rhine near Oberwesel, Germany, during historically low water levels. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Cargo ships pass sandbanks in the river Rhine near Oberwesel, Germany, during historically low water l evels. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Colorful trees are seen along the river Rhine near Bingen, Germany, during historically low water levels. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The ongoing drought across Germany has caused rivers to plunge to unusually low levels, creating issues from shipping traffic being halted to unexploded World War II military weapons being unearthed.

Low water levels are being reported on the Rhine, Danube, Weser, Main and Elbe rivers in Germany. The Rhine has hit its lowest water levels on record at several points, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The Elbe River at Magdeburg has dropped to a depth of 50 cm (less than 20 inches). At least double that level is needed for normal shipping traffic, Hartmut Rhein of the city’s waterways and shipping department told the AP.

No ships carrying goods are allowed to navigate the Elbe River from south of Leipzig to the Czech Republic.


With less oil being transported on the river, the Germany government unlocked reserves of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, according to The Local, for only the fourth time in 40 years.

Shipping traffic has not been halted on the Rhine, but companies are running more boats to compensate for carrying less weight (so the boats do not ride so low in the water).

That has led to higher freight prices with higher prices at gas pumps and for home heating oil, the AP stated.

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The low river levels have also killed fish and freshwater mussels, while the nation's agricultural industry is facing feed shortages.

Items are being unearthed as the rivers lower. Sandbanks that have not been seen before in modern history have appeared on the Rhine, according to the AP. An American bomb dropped during World World II appeared along the river near Neuwied.

High pressure that dominated the we ather across Germany is being blamed for the rainfall shortages, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.


"From the summer to early autumn, a persistent high pressure frequently blocked storms from bringing rain to Germany," he said. "With the dry spell, temperatures have averaged well above normal."

Magdeburg has only received 40 percent of its normal rainfall since June. For Berlin and Frankfurt, those percentages stand at 50 and 28, respectively.

Rain accompanying the storm slamming Italy and surrounding areas early this week will only spread to parts of Germany on Tuesday. The week will otherwise be dominated by mostly dry weather.

"A drier-than-normal autumn throughout most of Germany will give way to a more active storm pattern, which is expected to last throughout much of the upcoming winter," a ccording to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister.

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Photos: Unusually low rivers in Germany hit shipping industry hard

The ongoing drought across Germany has caused rivers to plunge to unusually low levels, creating issues from shipping traffic being halted to unexploded World War II military weapons being unearthed.

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Source: Google News Germany | Netizen 24 Germany

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