Düsseldorf In the Inden opencast mine, an RWE employee was swept away by the water. Many households in the Eifel are without electricity. 50 pharmacies are out of order. NRW companies such as RWE, Eon, Vodafone and Henkel help with practical measures. Bayer also donates.
The flood disaster is also affecting the economy in North Rhine-Westphalia. At the same time, many companies are starting aid campaigns. At the power generator RWE, the Weisweiler power plant can only run with reduced power. RWE estimates the damage to be in the mid double-digit million range. On Thursday the Inde river flooded a dike near Lamersdorf and ran into the Inden opencast mine, where the lignite for Weisweiler is mined. In the pit, a 58-year-old caterpillar operator had been swept away by the water. There is no longer any hope of finding him alive, said RWE. The group does not expect to be able to mine lignite again until the end of the week.
The Essen-based energy company is donating one million euros to help those directly affected. The amount is intended to support aid organizations and regional initiatives. “The images of the flood disaster are staggering. We feel for those affected, including many of our employees, ”said RWE boss Markus Krebber.
Many households in the flood areas were or are without electricity; 165,000 people were affected at times in the area of the Westnetz, which belongs to Eon. Eon staff were on duty around the clock to ease the situation. In addition, Eon initiated emergency aid: affected households that have to use drying devices and water pumps to repair the water damage will receive a flat rate of 200 euros from Eon to cover the additional electricity demand. “Affected Eon customers contact Eon with a flood certificate from the responsible municipality, the aid payment will be reimbursed as part of the next year-end statement,” explained the group.
Other companies also offer help. Vodafone, for example, brought together mobile radio stations from all over Germany. “They come to the disaster area in special transporters and are supposed to quickly deliver reception where the water has destroyed our stations or made them inaccessible,” explained Vodafone boss Hannes Ametsreiter. “We book 100 gigabytes of data volume on their mobile phones as immediate aid for Vodafone customers in the disaster area. So that – where the landline network has been destroyed and our cellular network is available or we have just repaired it – you can surf the web and make phone calls. “
The Düsseldorf chemical group Henkel is also helping: “We are closely linked to the region, and some of our employees are also affected – that’s why we want to make a contribution to helping people quickly and unbureaucratically,” said Henkel boss Carsten Knobel. “We have set up a comprehensive emergency aid package of 600,000 euros for this.” In addition, all employees who take part in the fire brigade, THW, DRK or DLRG are given paid leave of absence.
The floods in North Rhine-Westphalia also destroyed numerous pharmacies. “According to estimates by the Chamber of Pharmacists and the Association of Pharmacists, a good 50 pharmacies, especially in the south of the country, are no longer operational,” said Thomas Preis, head of the North Rhine Pharmacists’ Association, our editorial team. “We will only have a precise overview in the next few days.” Numerous pharmacies were completely destroyed by the flooding, others are not accessible to staff and patients due to the destruction of the infrastructure. “But no patient is left unsupervised,” emphasized Preis. “The well-functioning pharmacies are now taking care of patients – including night and emergency services.” And he emphasized: “We are already in talks with the authorities in order to find workable interim solutions at short notice. Because in some communities the only local pharmacy will be out of action for a long time. Many pharmacies will need weeks or months to restore their operational premises. “
Bayer donates 600,000 euros as emergency aid for the victims. The funds are intended for the German Red Cross (DRK) and two foundations in Leverkusen and Wuppertal, the group announced. The foundations stand up for citizens in the respective cities who are in need as a result of the devastating floods. At the same time, Bayer and the DRK are jointly launching a program to combine employee and company donations. “The company doubles every amount that is donated privately in this context, up to an amount of 50,000 euros,” explained Bayer.