The weather system brought down a staggering 148 litres of rain per square metre within 48 hours, to a part of Germany that averages 80 litres in a month.
Armin Laschet, German Conservative candidate to succeed Chancellor Merkel as premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, blamed the events on global warming and climate change.
During a visit to the area, he forewarned: “We will be faced with such events over and over, and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures on European, federal and global levels, because climate change isn’t confined to one state.”
Climate change is one of the central themes in Mr Laschet’s election campaign, alongside all things environmental.
Terrifyingly, extreme weather events are becoming more and more frequent around the world, even within countries and territories that have previously been very mild.