Floods in central Europe continue to create havoc

People in Hungary are building barriers along the Danube River as they prepare for a surge of water that swamped parts of northern Germany.

Rising waters of the Danube expected to reach Budapest on Monday

A woman from Hamilton, Ont., talks about the flooding in Dresden, where she's watching her son play in an inline hockey tournament. 3:43

People in Hungary are building barriers along the Danube River as they prepare for a surge of water that swamped parts of northern Germany.

The river is set to reach record levels as it makes its way to the toward the capital, Budapest, in the coming days.

Firefighters, police and volunteers are helping to pile sand bags.

Widespread flooding has already inundated several parts of central Europe.

In Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, rivers and lakes have flooded after extended periods of heavy rain.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes because of floodwaters, blamed for the deaths of 20 people.

Thousands of residents are still unable to return to their homes, and bridges and streets are impassable in many regions of eastern and southern Germany.

CBC News heard from a woman from Hamilton, Ont., on Saturday about the flooding in eastern Germany, where she's watching her son play in an inline hockey tournament.

Patty Leggat's son plays for Team Canada and they arrived in Dresden a week ago. The area was hit hard by the floods this week, but now the water has started to recede.

"In a way we've been very unfortunate. We're staying at a hotel right on the bank of the river [Elbe]. In 2002, during the flood, the hotel was completely flooded and was closed for six months," Leggat said.

Since then, a crew has erected a large fence along the back of the hotel to hold back the water.

She added the parking lot of the EnergieVerbund Arena, where her son's tournament is taking place, is flooded with water as "high as a basketball net," but the games are continuing.

Floodwaters on the River Elbe peaked on Wednesday.

More than 80,000 emergency personnel including firefighters and soldiers were on duty across central Europe on Saturday, working aggressively to contain the flooding.

The rising waters of the Danube, Europe's biggest river, were expected to reach Budapest on Monday.

In Slovakia, the Danube was still on the rise in the towns of Sturovo and Komarno near the Hungarian border. The situation in Komarno was especially critical as several protective barriers started leaking and volunteers had arrived to reinforce them with sandbags.

In the Czech Republic, the waters were dropping further and clean-up work was under way. However, anti-flood measures were to remain in place as heavy rains and thunderstorms were forecast for the weekend.

With files from The Associated Press