Merkel: Rebuilding of flood-hit areas will take a long time

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says “it will take a long time” until the regions damaged by devastating floods in July will be fully rebuilt. Merkel toured the flood-hit town of Hagen and the Sauerland region of North Rhine-Westphalia state on Sunday. The chancellor visited a bridge in Hagen that was destroyed but has been nearly redone. She also talked to firefighters in the Sauerland region who had lost two colleagues during rescue efforts. More than 180 people died in Germany and hundreds more were injured in the July 14-15 floods, which also claimed lives in neighboring Belgium. Heavy rainfall turned small streams into raging torrents, sweeping away houses, bridges and cars.