German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed shock and sorrow at the deadly floods in Europe, saying many people had died and pledging that everything would be done to find those still missing.
More than 30 people have been killed and dozens were reported missing in Germany and neighboring Belgium.
Visiting Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Merkel said what has occurred is a “a disaster,” adding that “heavy rain and flooding doesn’t capture what happened.”
Germany and neighboring countries have seen heavy rainfall in recent days, causing widespread damage.
Authorities used inflatable boats and helicopters, and the German army deployed 200 soldiers to assist in rescue operations.
Among those killed in the storms is a firefighter who drowned in Germany. Police said the fireman died Wednesday while doing rescue work in the western German town of Altena.
Elsewhere in the country, firefighters searched for a man who was swept away by a raging stream.
City officials in Duesseldorf called on residents in the city’s Grafenberg district to leave their homes because of potential flooding.
Belgium's meteorological institute issued a red alert for the zone around Liege. It was forecast to get more rain in a day than the area would normally receive in a whole summer month.