Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) once again visited a region that was particularly hard hit by the devastating July flood on Sunday.
Together with Union Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet, Merkel first met in Schalksmühle in the Sauerland the comrades of two firefighters who died in the flood in Altena and Werdohl.
In the northwest of the Sauerland, the Altena flood disaster hit particularly hard.
After landslides and floods, the small town was initially as good as cut off from the outside world.
According to the Altena city administration, damage to the municipal infrastructure alone amounted to around 60 million euros.
Political correspondent in North Rhine-Westphalia.
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In Hagen, on the edge of the Ruhr area, Merkel found out about the status of the clean-up and reconstruction work. The Chancellor asked for a bridge to be shown to her, which thanks to accelerated planning, easier procurement by the state and the use of prefabricated parts, could be largely completed only a good seven weeks after the flood disaster. Afterwards, the Chancellor and the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister took part in a municipal conference for mayors, district administrators and administrative experts from the flood regions affected.
“There is still a lot of work ahead of us,” said Merkel afterwards.
She is also concerned with a signal "that such visits will have to be repeated by a coming federal government".
The reconstruction will take a long time, that is becoming clearer every day.
The federal, state and local authorities would have to "work in line".
The Chancellor offered the municipalities to provide them with staff from federal authorities in Bonn in order to avoid bottlenecks.
"I encouraged those responsible on site to tell us about this quickly so that frustration doesn't build up," said the Chancellor.
Laschet pays tribute to the adoption of the flood relief fund
The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister praised the fact that the Bundestag and Bundesrat want to approve the flood aid fund of 30 billion euros this week.
Laschet said it was a great achievement that this could be achieved in such a short time after the disaster.
Dealing with the consequences of the flood is a national task for society as a whole.
"The cohesion in our country is greater than many describe it."
Laschet recalled that the disaster also hit many companies hard.
In the South Westphalia region alone, there are 2000 companies with a loss of 1.4 billion euros.
It is important to “give these companies and their employees a quick perspective now” so that there are no relocations.
More than 180 people were killed in the flood in mid-July in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. There was property damage in the tens of billions.Keywords: