As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prepares to release a major report on adapting to climate change, Adam Vaughan visits the site of 2021’s deadly floods in Ahr, Germany, to discover how locals are rebuilding.
“I SAW a tree with people sitting in it, crying and screaming. I could hear them despite all the noise. But I couldn’t help them. I didn’t know what to do,” says Melanie Schultz-Coerne, crying too as she recalls the traumatic night last year when Germany experienced its worst floods in six decades. She doesn’t know what happened to the campers she saw, but 134 people in the country’s Ahr valley died during the floods in mid-July, with hundreds more injured.