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Rhine closed to shipping between Duisburg and Koblenz due to high waters

Staff Writer | January 9, 2018
Water everywhere but not a drop to sail on after high waters brought shipping to a standstill on a 180km stretch of the Rhine.
Rhine water
Europe   Water levels have been far above the critical height
After the recent heavy rains in Germany, the Rhine river has been temporarily closed to all shipping between Duisburg and Koblenz, WDR 1 reports.

"As soon as the water level climbs over 8.3 metres, that happens," a spokesman for the water police told WDR 1.

Around Cologne, water levels have been far above the critical height of 8.3 metres since Sunday evening, meaning ships currently do not have enough space to sail under bridges in the area, The Local writes.

The Rhine is expected to be at its highest around Monday and Tuesday before water levels begin to drop due to drier weather, but shipping can only recommence once water levels drop below 8.2 metres.

On Sunday evening water levels rose to 8.61 metres in Cologne before reaching 8.75 metres by Monday morning and are expected to peak at around 9 metres before starting to drop as the day goes on.

Meanwhile in Düsseldorf, where the Rhine is wider, flood levels rose from 8.06 metres to 8.25 metres, but these levels are also expected to drop as the afternoon goes on.

Overall the Rhine has experienced its highest water levels in two years but this is no reason to panic.