Heavy storms over southern Burgenland caused numerous fire service operations in the late Tuesday afternoon. The municipalities of Kukmirn, Neusiedl bei Güssing, St. Michael, Deutsch Kaltenbrunn and Rudersdorf were particularly hard hit. In some cases there were power outages caused by fallen trees, flooded cellars or blocked streets, all of which provided a picture of the devastation that was offered to the emergency services. The first emergency services in the districts of Güssing and Jennersdorf were alerted at around 5 p.m., around 6 p.m., operations from the district of Oberwart were also occasionally reported. There was no major damage here.
Violator Floriani in the district of Güssing
“Hurricane gusts of wind, heavy rain and oversaturated soils – the storm left its mark on the Güssing district. There was also an injured fire brigade comrade to complain about, ”explains Andreas Popofsits, District Officer for Public Relations, District Fire Brigade Command Güssing, the seriousness of the situation. The storm, according to Popofsits, may have originated in the Styrian market and then caught us completely. The villages of Kukmirn and Neusiedl near Güssing were particularly affected. Flooded basements, trees that had fallen on houses or across the streets. “In Stad even a barn collapsed due to the hurricane-like gusts of wind. In St. Michael, 54 liters per square meter of precipitation were measured in less than 15 minutes, ”said Popofsits.
22 fire departments with 43 vehicles in action
In the Güssing district, a total of 22 fire departments with 43 vehicles were on duty from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday. It was also important to clear the streets, pump out cellars and save belongings on the way to operational addresses.
In Eisenhüttl, large areas behind the church or the fire station were under water. The cell mountain road in Kukmirn was largely lined with fallen trees, branches lay on the road.
Occasionally, the access roads to the houses were not passable due to fallen trees. “Neusiedl near Güssing was largely under water in the town center. A warehouse was covered and a tree fell on a house whose residents are on vacation and cut the power line. Energie Burgenland had to carry out the necessary work here to put the power grid back into operation, ”explains Popofsits.
District leadership has been activated
In addition to the local operations management, the district management staff of the Güssing district was raised to take over the coordinating work required for these operations management: “Pumps and chainsaws had to be organized and allocated, power generators for the operation of submersible pumps had to be allocated, crew and equipment delegated from one operation location to the next and also be piloted. Energy Burgenland also had to be organized to repair the damage, ”says Popofsits.
Neusiedl near Güssing particularly affected
The Neusiedl / Güssing fire brigade was particularly hard hit. The fire station itself became the operational address. Water entered through the garage doors, flowed through the entire building, and emerged from the back. It was totally silted up, however, without electricity, because that too had failed and the local operations management had been set up. “The incoming operational addresses were localized and processed using handheld radios and an overview map,” explained Popofsits.
Sandbags were filled
Around 9 p.m., a large part of the damage situation had been dealt with, weirs moved into the fire stations and were kept on standby.
Sandbags were placed on pallets in the Rehgraben / Kukmirn area so that they could be used if necessary. The initially rising water level of the rivers in the area of application showed declining developments around 10 p.m., so that the weirs were also ready for use.
An injured person also in the Jennersdorf district
There was also an injured fireman in the Jennersdorf district. “He injured his legs while working with the motor chain saw and had to be taken care of by the Red Cross,” says Martin Ernst, public relations officer at the Jennersdorf district fire service.
In the Jennersdorf district, the villages of Deutsch Kaltenbrunn and Rudersdorf were particularly affected, where in less than 40 minutes there was about 70 liters of rain per square meter. Before this rain event, a short, but all the more violent storm swept over both towns. Houses were covered and trees were broken like matches.
Over 40 minutes of power failure
Due to the heavy rainfall, the sewage system was unable to absorb these masses of water, and several cellars and streets were flooded. In Deutsch Kaltenbrunn there were more than 50 operational addresses that could be processed with the support of the fire departments from Mogersdorf and Wallendorf. Parts of Dt. Kaltenbrunn and the surrounding area were without electricity for more than 40 minutes. The reason for this was fallen trees that damaged the overhead lines.
Folded trees that blocked the streets and cellars that were partially flooded up to 1.5 meters high had to be dealt with by the emergency services in both locations under the most adverse conditions. Numerous roads and paths were impassable.
The fire brigades from Deutsch Kaltenbrunn, Deutsch Kaltenbrunn Berg, Rohrbrunn, Mogersdorf and Wallendorf were in action in Deutsch Kaltenbrunn with around 60 comrades from 5 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
In Rudersdorf the weirs from Rudersdorf-Ort, Rudersdorf-Berg and Dobersdorf were used with a total of 17 operational addresses with more than 40 men from 17 to 23.45.