Record rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks and the intensity of the floods that followed have now claimed more than 120 lives.
Towns and villages have been left devastated as buildings collapsed, and residents were left stranded.
Germany has been the hardest hit. In the country’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, at least 43 people died in the flooding.
In the Rhineland-Palatinate, more than 60 people have been reported dead.
About 1,300 people are unaccounted for in the Ahrweiler region, possibly due to mobile networks being down.
A state of emergency has been declared in the rural German village of Schuld, with a population of 700, where the devastation has been described as “simply catastrophic”.