High water closes Rhine in south Germany to shipping

Water levels are falling but the river may not open fully to inland shipping until Thursday

  
Caravans are destroyed in an area affected by floods caused by heavy rainfalls in Kreuzberg, Germany, July 19, 2021.

Caravans are destroyed in an area affected by floods caused by heavy rainfalls in Kreuzberg, Germany, July 19, 2021.

Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

HAMBURG - Parts of the river Rhine in south Germany were still closed to shipping on Tuesday after a rise in water levels following rain and storms last week, authorities said.

Water levels are falling but the river may not open fully to inland shipping until Thursday, the environment agency in the south German state of Rhineland Palatinate said.

The southern Rhine rose last week after record rainfall and floods that killed at least 160 people in Germany's worst natural disaster in almost six decades.

Rhine river shipping remains stopped around Maxau and Speyer in south Germany, the German inland waterways navigation agency said.

High water means vessels do not have enough space to sail under bridges and the blockage prevents vessels sailing to Switzerland.

Dry weather on Monday and on Tuesday morning means shipping in northern sectors of the river from Mannheim to Duisburg is operating normally, it said.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including minerals, coal and oil products such as heating oil, grains and animal feed.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Andrew Heavens) ((michael.j.hogan@thomsonreuters.com; +49 172 671 36 54; Reuters Messaging: michael.hogan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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