Emergency protection

Emergency protection

Flood defences with sheet piles and driving plant

Back in April 2006, as the level of the River Elbe was rising as a result of melting snow and heavy rain in the Central German Uplands, the town of Hitzacker was not the only place affected; the hinterland too, on either side of the little River Jeetzel, was also threatened by floods. The excess water in the Elbe forced its way up the Jeetzel.

Water in the Jeetzel backed up and threatened to break through the dykes along the river and flood the countryside beyond. In the face of such danger, a decision was taken by the Lüchow-Dannenberg emergency services team on Saturday, 5 April 2006 to seal off the Jeetzel with a sheet pile wall. The level of the Jeetzel was to be regulated with the help of powerful pumps provided by the THW (technical emergency services). A very bold operation, and hence a race against time, began at midday on 5 April 2006.

The defence measure had to be installed and functioning in just four hours in order to eliminate the threat of floods. The emergency services team supervised and coordinated the work of the specialists from the Lüneburg branch of the Lower Saxony Water Management, Coastal Protection & Nature Conservation Agency, specialists from the Dykes Association, the emergency services, the THW and volunteer contractors.

The Hamburg branch of thyssenkrupp Infrastructure supplied 100 tons of L22 10/10 steel sheet piles available immediately from HOESCH plus driving plant in the shape of a müller MS-16 HFV high-frequency vibrator with drive unit. Our specialist consultant, Kay Buchholz, and staff from our branch organised the transport with Usinger & Trombetta and a telescopic crane from Knaack in Hamburg.

Specialists from Franki Grundbau and other contractors provided personnel and further plant. In just 3 1⁄2 hours, the Jeetzel was sealed off by a steel sheet pile wall around a bridge on the B191 trunk road at Dannenberg. In the meantime, the THW had installed several powerful mobile pumps and had begun pumping water out of the Jeetzel and in the direction of the Elbe. By the evening of 5 April 2006, this flood defence system was fully operational and continued to prevent the river from over owing its banks in the following days. Considerable flood damage was therefore avoided.

This successful operation shows that steel sheet pile walls are also ideal for virtually instantaneous ood protection. thyssenkrupp Infrastructure, with its decades of experience and research in this field, has developed its own fully engineered systems. Sheet pile walls have proved to be successful as barriers along dykes and riverbanks at risk of flooding and, in the end, represent the most economic solution.

Facts & figures

ClientLüchow-Dannenberg emergency services team
Contractor, driving worksFranki Grundbau
Other contractorsUsinger & Trombetta, Hamburg (transport)
Steel sheet pile wall100 t Larssen L22 10/10, 9.50 m long
Driving plantMS-16 HFV

Facts & figures

ClientLüchow-Dannenberg emergency services team
Contractor, driving worksFranki Grundbau
Other contractorsUsinger & Trombetta, Hamburg (transport)
Steel sheet pile wall100 t Larssen L22 10/10, 9.50 m long
Driving plantMS-16 HFV