Flooding Kills Dozens In Europe And Texas, Displaces Thousands More

Climate-change related flooding is projected to double in Europe by 2050.

04/06/2016 7:30 AM AEST | Updated 04/06/2016 7:30 AM AEST

Flooding across Western Europe this week has killed at least 15 people and displaced tens of thousands. That figure includes 10 dead in southern Germany, two in France, two in Romania, and one in Belgium, with more rain expected this weekend, the BBC reports.

The storms have also hit Austria, the Netherlands and Poland, with officials saying climate change is likely to blame. A study released in March 2014 predicts climate-change related flooding in Europe will double by 2050, with costly damage that spans borders.

In Texas, floods have killed at least 12 people, including seven who died late last week and five soldiers from Fort Hood who died Thursday when their Army truck overturned in a flooded creek. Four other service members are still missing.

CNN notes this is the second year in a row for 500-year floods to hit the state.

"It just so happens that parts of Texas have seen them now in back-to-back years, and maybe even twice this year," CNN Senior Meteorologist Brandon Miller told the network. "The odds of that happening are infinitesimally small."

Scroll down for photos and coverage of the flooding from around the world.


Charles Platiau / Reuters
A couple kisses as water rises along the Seine River in Paris on June 1, 2016.

Segments of France's border with Belgium received six-week's worth of rain in under 24 hours earlier this week, causing widespread flooding across the country. May has been the country's rainiest month since 1886, Radio France Internationale says.

As a result of that rain, French meteorologists expect the already-swollen Seine in Paris to peak at 6.5 meters (21 feet) above its usual level on Friday. The Louvre is closed due to flooding concerns, and workers have been busy moving priceless works of art as a precautionary measure.

The French Open, scheduled to start Monday, was shut down by rain for the first time in 16 years.

Philippe Wojazer / Reuters
View of the flooded Seine near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on June 3, 2016, after days of almost nonstop rain. 

A 74-year-old man was found dead in Évry-Grégy-sur-Yerre, south of Paris, after being swept off his horse in a flooded field.

In Nemours, 45 miles south of Paris, rescuers evacuated more than 3,000 people as floodwaters encroached on the second story of buildings downtown. A total of around 20,000 people have been evacuated throughout France.

Christian Hartmann / Reuters
French firefighters evacuate residents from a flooded area after heavy rainfall in Nemours, France, on June 1, 2016.

French President François Hollande declared a state of emergency on Thursday, as France 24 notes upwards of 21,000 homes were without power.

In a speech translated to English by The New York Times, Hollande attributed the torrential rains and flooding to global warming, and urged the international community to take action.

“When there are climatic phenomena of this seriousness," he said, "we must all be aware that we must act globally.”

Christian Hartmann / Reuters
A man brings baguettes to his mother's flooded house in Chalette-sur-Loing Montargis, France, on June 1, 2016.


Relentless rain is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 people in southern and western Germany. A firefighter and another person were killed after they were sucked into a drainpipe in Schwäbisch Gmünd on Monday, The New York Times reports.

Michaela Rehle / Reuters
Damage caused by floods in the Bavarian village of Simbach am Inn, Germany, on June 2, 2016.

A video from a flash flood earlier this week in the southwestern city of Braunsbach, verified by the German newspaper Der Spiegel, captured the devastation firsthand.

In the Bavarian town of Simbach am Inn, three women from the same family all drowned in the basement of their house, the BBC reports.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country is in a state of shock, and "mourning those for whom help has come too late and who lost their lives in the floods."

Michaela Rehle / Reuters
Residents look at debris caused by floods in the Bavarian village of Simbach am Inn, Germany, on June 2, 2016.

Flooding in the southwestern town of Neckarsulm forced Audi to shut down its massive production facility there. According to Autonews, the German car manufacturer employs 16,000 people who produce 1,300 cars per day at the plant.


Daniel Kramer/Reuters
A woman walks in the floodwaters in southwest Houston, Texas, on May 26, 2015.

For the second year in a row, central and southeast Texas has been inundated by heavy rains and catastrophic flooding.

Seven people died in flooding-related incidents in the state over Memorial Day weekend. Five more died on Thursday when an Army vehicle from Fort Hood overturned in a creek; four soldiers are still missing. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) declared a state of disaster in 31 of the state's counties on Wednesday as one of the strongest El Niños on record pumps moisture into the state.

AARON M. SPRECHER via Getty Images
Vehicles stranded on Interstate 45 in Houston on May 26, 2015.

In addition to the dangers posed by flooding, Texans have to contend with another frightening element: snakes.

Amid last year's floods, Dallas-Fort Worth's NBC 5 reported a large increase in snake sightings and snake bites as the venomous reptiles fled flooded areas for dry ground.

Reuters Photographer / Reuters
Motorists survey the floodwaters in southwest Houston on May 26, 2015.

The conditions are strikingly similar to those a year ago, when a strong El Niño, coupled with climate change, fueled storms that dropped enough water to cover the entire state in 8 inches of water.

A study released last October directly linked the astounding amount of precipitation in the southern Great Plains last year to "anthropogenic global warming." In other words: climate change caused by human activity.

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