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bremenports and THW cooperate on flood protection

bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe

New agreement means more safety for Bremerhaven

Bremenports and the Bremerhaven unit of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) are planning to cooperate more closely in future to improve flood protection. Their cooperation to date has therefore now been set down in a binding agreement which was signed today by bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe and the heads of the THW unit in Bremerhaven, Torben Tietjen and Andre Schröder, and then presented to the public.

bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe emphasised that this cooperation was a key factor for protecting the dykes in case of critical and unforeseeable incidents. “Thanks to the impressive commitment of its volunteers, the THW helps to make Bremerhaven a safer place.”

Torben Tietjen and Andre Schröder pointed out that the relief organisation had officially set up a flood protection unit in Bremerhaven in 2019/2020. “We can make an effective contribution to flood protection thanks to our specially trained experts, suitable technical vehicles and equipment and a portable container for use as communications headquarters.”

Although bremenports and the THW had already been in contact with one another prior to this cooperation, the new agreement ensures that bremenports will be able to make use of the specialist staff of THW during unforeseeable situations.

Placing the cooperation on an official footing will also lead to other advantages, such as

• direct contact and knowledge sharing between the responsible parties
• availability of more personnel in case of unforeseeable situations. Especially if sandbag systems are to be used, it is essential to have access to a large number of trained persons
• ensuring that expertise is kept up-to-date by conducting regular exercises and training sessions with the relevant dyke facilities
• additional vehicles & special tools

In addition to the regular dyke maintenance and refurbishment measures, bremenports has also been entrusted by the Federal Land of Bremen with other tasks such as the storm surge warning service in Bremerhaven.

As a rule, this consists of closing all locking structures during storm surges. This refers to a total of around 50 objects (flood barriers, dyke openings, barrages, floodgates) which have to be closed as from a certain water level. To facilitate central coordination of all the different measures, bremenports operates a dyke protection command and control centre as the central point of communication with a large number of technical aids. bremenports also maintains a flood equipment centre where sandbags and other protective materials are stored in readiness for unforeseeable situations (e.g. malfunctions of a dyke opening, accidents etc.)

It is assumed that climate change will lead to more frequent and higher storm surges in future. In preparation for these situations, bremenports is making every effort to ensure that flood protection in Bremerhaven will be fit to meet future requirements.

bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe stated, “In addition to the dyke protection command and control centre and the flood equipment centre, our cooperation with the THW is a key element in improving flood protection in and around Bremerhaven.”