Paderborn cleans up. The tornado devastated large parts of the city on Friday, and it could take months to fix it due to the lack of material. However, local residents react calmly. A visit to the Riemeke Park.

Demolished cars, fallen roof tiles and uprooted trees – around the Riemekepark in Paderborn, the extent of the destruction caused by the devastating tornado of the day before is shown on Saturday. Resident Conny Hanke stands on the sidewalk and takes a moment to get an impression. “Whatever damage there is – one can be happy: We escaped with our lives,” she says.

The fact that half the roof is now missing on one side and the “balcony pane practically exploded” in the case of a top tenant, as Hanke describes, is almost a minor matter. “Thank God she didn’t get anything either,” she adds. The tornado only moved through the residential area in the direction of the city center for a few minutes, the resident confirms the description of her neighbors: “It went straight away – and it was gone just as quickly as it came.” At least she has a garden chair that has been blown away found during the tour. “Even still intact,” says Hanke happily.

The brief force of nature was enough to leave a trail of devastation in Paderborn. More than 40 people were injured, the amount of property damage has yet to be determined. It is not difficult to see that it will be in the millions here.

In the afternoon, the roofer journeymen Björn Wilkowsky and Maik Marx have already taken care of the third roof. They have been working since 7 a.m. However, the two can only pursue their craft to a limited extent – bricks are no longer available. “We can only cover it with makeshift tarpaulins,” says Wilkowsky, and Marx sums it up in one word: “Damage limitation.” Due to the lack of material, repairing it is currently out of the question.

The two are standing on a small hill in Riemekepark, their eyes on the roofs of the houses. “Such forces that were at work there, it’s intense. I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Wilkowsky. So much damage to wooden buildings, new roofs simply torn out – “I could never have imagined that”. Even the smallest parts stuck firmly in the ground.

Marx also witnessed the catastrophe up close. “I was shopping with my daughter and just came out of the store – and suddenly the tornado passed us,” he says. Frightened, the daughter clung to him, they went back into the shop and waited there. “You know something like that from films, but not from Paderborn,” he says, still incredulous in the face of these scenes. Suddenly it got dark. “Everything flew through the air and all of a sudden you see a tree sailing along,” he describes. “It was really awesome. So really awesome.”

After a few minutes everything was calm again, tornado and rain masses moved on. Father and daughter drove home in the car while the first flashing lights were on and the damage reports made the news. Fortunately, Marx’s house was not damaged.

The two suspect that repairing the damage will take several months. Even before the tornado, there was a lack of material that is now all the more needed. “We have to make the best of it,” says Marx with a smile. This is also confirmed by resident Conny Hanke: “You can’t be beaten here in Paderborn.” She takes it with humor and sarcasm. “The main thing is that I’m alive.”

Resident Oliver also describes his situation as “relatively good”. He is standing next to his BMW with the rear window smashed by roof tiles and numerous dents and scratches. Probably a total loss, he suspects, every part is affected. At least he has comprehensive insurance here. Actually, he could have saved himself cleaning up the yard after the storm. “I have to start all over again today,” he says. Because the roofers are now removing more damaged tiles from the roof, 70 percent are ultimately covered. Where does he get new ones? “We’ll see,” he says, also at a loss. It must also be shown whether the insurance company will pay here. He, too, tries to radiate composure despite this difficult situation. “Of course it’s annoying – but what do you want to do?” he says.