Is a scandal looming six months after the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley? A meteorologist reports that he offered a weather special beforehand. The offer was rejected.
Ahr Valley – A good half a year has passed since the flood catastrophe * in the Rhineland-Palatinate Ahr Valley. The processing of the flood event is still in full swing. Now a highly explosive report has become public: Has a broadcaster made a huge mistake and could people have been warned much more clearly in advance?
Flood disaster in the Ahr Valley: meteorologist raises serious allegations
In the investigation committee for the flood disaster of the Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament, on Friday, February 4th, it became known: A few hours before the water masses flooded the Ahr valley, meteorologist Karsten Schwanke offered the SWR a special broadcast on the imminent flood. However, the broadcaster rejected this at the time, as the FAZ reports.
“It will be bad in the Eifel,” Schwanke is quoted there. This statement probably met with little approval from the SWR editorial team. Instead, this would have referred to the weather report in the first, reported the TV presenter in the committee of inquiry. This runs every day before the “Tagesschau”. Likewise with the aforementioned “weather before eight”, not everything went smoothly at the time. Although Schwanke moderated the weather report, according to his own statements, he was unable to sufficiently present the impending warning.
After the flood disaster: a meteorologist offered a special – SWR refused
For the meteorologist it is clear: If he had been allowed to broadcast the special, he would have “only talked about flooding in the Eifel, that would have had a different meaning,” he reports to the FAZ. For what reasons this was not possible with “Weather before eight” – there is currently no answer. The fact is, however, that no public broadcaster issued sufficient warnings about the weather catastrophe. For example, neither WDR2 nor SWR previously reported on the radio.
But that’s not all. The meteorologist’s allegations continue: According to Schwanke, there was enough time to evacuate more people. “Even in the actual forecast on the evening of July 14 at 8 or 9 p.m. there would still have been enough time to get people out of there,” he reports to the committee of inquiry. “I can only assume that the person who said in a panicked voice, we have to get everyone out, was missing.”
Meteorologist clarifies – “Knew beforehand that there could be flooding in the Ahr Valley”
Schwanke emphasizes: “We knew two days in advance that there could be flooding in the Ahr valley.” At that point in time, “we knew that there would be extreme precipitation”. However, the meteorologist also admits: “I didn’t know that this ten meter high tidal wave would come. I never expected that.”
The SWR has now also commented on the serious allegations: Schwanke’s statements have been noted, the broadcaster told the FAZ . “It is known that not all processes worked smoothly and satisfactorily on the day of the flood disaster in the Ahr Valley. The SWR itself has an interest in learning from the experiences of the day and investigates all possible weak points.”
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