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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 18:47 GMT 19:47 UK
Europe floods: Readers' experiences
People stand on the balcony of their flooded house in Eschenlohe, Germany
The severe floods have taken many by surprise
BBC News website readers have described their experiences of the floods sweeping across central and eastern Europe.

Valerie Schwitter from Davos, Switzerland, described the scene in nearby Klosters as "an absolute mess".

"There are trees, mud and rocks everywhere. The dirty brown water is also everywhere," she said.

"There are cars upturned, and the newly-built swimming pool and the tennis arena have been devastated.

"It has been raining solidly here for three days - the torrential rain has been incredible - but Davos has not been as badly affected as Klosters.

"I have lived here for 37 years and have never seen anything like it."

Chaotic scene

Alastair Prain, originally from the UK, now living in Zug, central Switzerland, spoke of the scenes in his area after being stuck in his house without communications for two days.

"I live up in the hills and there are landslides everywhere," he said.

Floods in Tirol, Austria (Pic: Reader Michaela)

"Houses have been swept away.

"The inhabitants of some of those houses are safe but there are others missing in the area.

"Two firemen were reportedly killed helping people to evacuate from homes that were swept away.

"Farmers have also lost livestock. It's all fairly chaotic."

Sabrina Gertsch from Lucerne, Switzerland, described the frustration among local people battling against the floods.

"Lucerneers are tired and wet," she said.

"A considerable part of the old town is under water.

Nobody can get in and no one can leave. Only the tourists can get out by helicopter
Innsbruck, Austria,
"Two contrasts meet together as people play and swim in the clear water whilst others fight to save businesses.

"There is absolutely no way for anyone living in the old town to get to the train station in the morning without getting wet.

"Trains aren't reliable. On Monday none of them ran and most highways and roads were closed, making it impossible for many people to get to work."

Swept away

Michaela, from Innsbruck, Austria, said parts of her town had been damaged but she had not been able to see because the police had closed off the area.

However, her grandparents in the town of Tirol were severely affected.

"My grandparents had to leave their house early on Tuesday morning due to severe flooding, and have not been back," she said.

"They are now in my uncle's house which is safe, but half of the homes in the villages have been damaged. Some of them have been swept away."

"Nobody can get in and no one can leave. Only the tourists can get out by helicopter.

"We think it will be at least a week or two until we can travel there."

"It is all quite a shock."

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