Following the torrential rain that fell in the early hours of Friday 1 June 2018, and which caused severe following in the Mullerthal region and in many villages in the south-east of the Grand Duchy, Crisis Response Unit of the Emergency Response Plan met for the second time at 11:30 on Friday – following the first meeting at 04:54 – under the chairmanship of Interior Minister Dan Kersch.
Activated by the Office of the High Commissioner for National Protection, the purpose of the Government Crisis Cell is to coordinate the operations between the various stakeholders provided for in the Emergency Response Plan in the event of bad weather, including the High Commission for National Protection, the Administration of the emergency services, the Grand Ducal Police, the Crisis Communication Service, the Administration of water management, the Bridges & Highways Administration, the Luxembourg army and MeteoLux. The Luxembourg army was mobilised with 2 platoons (40 people) deployed to help in the various works concerning the management of the situation in the field.
Overnight, in total more than 150 people from the Emergency Services Administration and about 30 Fire and Rescue Centres as well as frogmen, logistics, food and psychological support groups had intervened more than 100 times, in which 18 people had to be rescued after being trapped by floods. In addition, another person in Greiveldange was saved during the afternoon and was reported as being safe.
On Friday mid-morning, Waldbillig was the location of a visit by Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, and Minister of the Interior, Dan Kersch, who briefed the press on decisions taken by the Government’s Cabinet concerning various compensation procedures initiated by the various ministerial departments and decisions taken by the Crisis Cell.
The Crisis Cell met again in the late afternoon to carry out an additional inventory of the damage caused, with what was described as a “foreseeable rise of water expected during the evening” and warned motorists considering travelling along the N10 between Steinheim and Wasserbillig which was closed from 21:00. This was partly due to the large volume flowing downstream along the Prüm River in Germany, and the German authorities being forced to increase the flow of water from the de Bitburg dam reservoir after it reached a hundred-year flood level.
Measures were taken to evacuate the Rosport, Born and Wasserbillig campsites as Friday night’s river levels were expected to rise 5-6 metres above normal.