Heavy rain, melting snow produce floods in western Germany

Rivers swollen by days of rainfall and melting snow are rising in western Germany, with floodwaters spilling into some cities and towns.

The dpa news agency reported that shipping was suspended Friday on the upper reaches of the Rhine River, and a similar measure might be taken in the Cologne area over the weekend. Shipping on the Moselle River and the Neckar River, two of the Rhine's tributaries, had already been halted.

A road in downtown Heidelberg was closed on Friday after the Neckar spilled over its banks.

In St. Blasien in Germany's Black Forest, houses were evacuated on Thursday night because of flooding and a landslide. Most of the roughly 150 residents affected were later able to return to their homes.