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How do I find what happened to my uncle?

(18 Posts)
helgawills Tue 03-Aug-21 13:21:08

When I heard about the floods in Germany, I tried phoning my uncle, who is just a few weeks short of his 100th birthday.
I got a recorded message, saying a sms would be sent to person, to tell them I had phoned?
Sms? My uncle, nearly blind?
What I didn't know at the time, a gravel pit above the town had filled up with the torrents of rain coming down and broken through the flood defences. So the whole town had to be evacuated in a hurry.
Photos I found online showed sewers up in the air, as the rush of the flood water had washed away the road surface and the ground underneath.
Imagine, you're twice widowed, lived in your house most off your life. You love your garden, and the small river flowing along the bottom. You know the song of all the local birds.
Your wood and metal working tools are all in the basement, as is the small train you built years ago, for your grandchildren to ride around your garden.
Lots of memories in your house, several musical instruments, piano, accordion, viola....
Someone, maybe a young firefighter, comes to your door and tells you, you must leave, now!
What on earth would you do?
I honestly have no idea.

JackyB Tue 03-Aug-21 13:50:01

It is heartbreaking. Lots of volunteers have gone up there to help out, but the coordination is difficult as this was so unprecedented.

Try and get hold of the DRK (German Red Cross) either directly in the town where your uncle lives or the National organisation. Someone must be keeping a register of the people who are being put up in temporary accommodation.

helgawills Tue 03-Aug-21 14:13:13

I will try that, thank you. I know in some areas it will take months to get services like phone connections back up.

Grandmabatty Tue 03-Aug-21 14:23:53

Oh my goodness, I hope you manage to contact your uncle.

Skydancer Tue 03-Aug-21 14:27:48

I'd suggest contacting the German embassy in London.

silverlining48 Tue 03-Aug-21 16:22:04

Helga Assume there isn’t a friend or neighbour you can ring? Haus doctor ? Police? I hope you get news soon.
It must have been a terrible shock to everyone, with so many casualties.
We have friends not too far away and have visited the area, it is very pretty.
It’s not being reported on our news now but given the damage and casualties it will be a lot of work and a long time still until things get back to normal. I am so sorry.

grannyactivist Tue 03-Aug-21 17:41:46

Helga, I’m so sorry for the worrying situation you’re in. The contact details you need are here:

Unfortunately many people are still missing, but usually the Red Cross and Salvation Army work tirelessly to help in circumstances such as these. I hope you find the answers you’re looking for.

helgawills Tue 03-Aug-21 19:26:37

There are no phone-lines at all in worst affected areas, so much damage to infrastructure, it will take months, if not years, to repair.
I have sent email to Red Cross, thank you for the suggestion.
Trouble is, who can tell where that sort of devastation will strike next.

JackyB Tue 03-Aug-21 22:06:59

Please keep us up to date with what you find out. I am assuming you speak German but if you need any help, pm me.

helgawills Wed 04-Aug-21 11:29:19

Thank you, Jacky, I speak German and I will post any news on here

helgawills Sat 07-Aug-21 10:47:49

I have just heard, that he was taken in by a relative in the area, his house is still standing, but basement and ground floor flooded.

silverlining48 Sat 07-Aug-21 11:01:00

That’s really good news Helga. So pleased he is well and being looked after and hope he can get back home as soon as it is safe. Alles gut.

JackyB Sat 07-Aug-21 13:05:55

Relieved to hear it, although such an upheaval for someone of his age must be very traumatic. I hope he gets lots of support with settling back in. Sending best wishes.

Alegrias1 Sat 07-Aug-21 13:38:36

Glad to hear you've got news about him helgawills, I hope he's doing OK. Such a difficult thing to deal with at that age.

Grandmabatty Sat 07-Aug-21 15:23:36

I'm glad he's safe. Thank you for updating

grannyactivist Mon 09-Aug-21 09:02:37

You’re obviously very relieved helgawills - so glad the news was good. ?

ElaineI Mon 09-Aug-21 09:09:27

Thanks for updating helgawills. You will be relieved. My best friend's DiL has older relatives in that area and DiL's Mum has returned to Germany to care for her own mother. They too were very worried but the neighbours were helping.

Allsorts Mon 09-Aug-21 09:17:17

Glad your uncle is safe, friends and neighbours gather round at such times.