Paul Brasseur, 42, stated that it "was like a tsunami" because it entered the house and continued rising rather than retreating.
As the water rose steadily below their heads, the family went upstairs. They ended up watching from the roof.
Brasseur stated, "We began to see buildings collapse, people on rooftops, buildings falling into the water, and buildings collapsing."
They eventually made their way up to 15 others, and waited hours for help. The boat that arrived to rescue them began to take on water, while the makeshift jetty was slowly falling apart. Brasseur held his boys back.
Brasseur, who was 10 years old when he moved to Pepinster, said, "We held on, for those nine hour," "Then, citizens, my best friend and father, came... over the roofs and saved us too," he said.
More then 180 people from Belgium and Germany did not survive the devastating flooding in Western Europe on Wednesday and 2014. Many people, including the Brasseurs, lost their homes or were badly damaged in the floods.
As the floodwaters receded, the focus shifted to the enormous task of repairing damage caused by storm-induced deluges and the devastating losses suffered by those living in the affected areas.
Andreas Wachtveitel, a western German resident, spent Saturday cleaning up debris from his apartment building in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. He doesn't know what to do next because his home and office, aged 39 years old, were severely damaged by the water.
Wachtveitel said, "This was probably the most horrible thing that has ever happened to me." He was covered in mud. "Thank God everyone in our house survived, but it was not over.
He said that he is haunted by the sounds of water running into his lower floors and nearby screaming.
Wachtveitel stated that they heard "screams" from the other side. "There is a clinic, and the patients are trapped."
Franco Romanelli, the owner of Pizzeria Roma in the town, stood in front the restaurant, which was his livelihood while workers removed ruined furniture.
He said, "It took so long to build the restaurant to make it where it's at." "This is now, after the pandemic.
He said that "we are not talking about a few thousands euros" to fix the damage. He said, "I did a rough calculation. We are talking about a few hundred thousands euros to rebuild the place."
Romanelli, originally from Italy's Abruzzo region, arrived in Ahrweiler at the age of 15 years. Romanelli said that the extent of the damage done to his adopted home was devastating.