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Bern braces itself for another ‘flood of the century’

Canton Bern expects water levels on Lake Thun, Lake Biel and in the city of Bern to significantly exceed flood limits in the coming days. On Lake Biel it’s possible the situation will be similar to the flood of the century in 2005.

The River Simme in Wimmis, canton Bern, on Tuesday Keystone / Peter Schneider

Bern’s state chancellery said on Wednesday it expected the flood level on Lake Biel to be exceeded by 25-65 centimetres.

Lake Thun is expected to swell to 25-40 centimetres above the flood limit, according to the authorities. Lake Brienz is also expected to burst its banks.

The River Aare in Bern is expected to reach a flow rate of 500-560 cubic metres per second. By comparison, during the major floods in 1999 and 2005 the Aare carried just over 600 cubic metres per second.

Up to 100 millimetres of rain is predicted locally for Thursday and Friday and water levels will peak on Saturday.

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