A father-of-three from Wales was caught in the devastating floods in Germany that have destroyed homes and killed 160 people.
Craig Couzens, 40, was driving home to Caergwrle in Wrexham, Wales, when he found himself at the centre of the disaster, encountering collapsed bridges, landslides and fallen trees, according to North Wales Live.
At least 160 people have died in Germany and Belgium after record rainfall led to severe floods this week that experts say was made worse by climate change.
Other parts of Europe, including Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands, were also hit by the extreme weather.
Mr Couzens recorded a video of what he saw as he drove through the flood-hit roads of German.
Mr Couzens, a business development manager at Surface Transforms, was in Germany for distribution talks about the brake discs he makes for supercars such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.
He was due at the famous Nürburgring motorsports complex but decided to return home when the weather closed the track.
Mr Couzens expected to be able to drive to Calais without any problems – but the 4.5-hour trip turned into 10-hour marathon.
His attempts to flee the country became increasingly frantic as he encountered collapsed bridges, landslides and fallen trees.
“Every road I tried to go down, the road was washed away or there were bridges down or it was completely flooded,” he said.
“There were people crying and hugging each other, just standing around looking totally shocked.”
Booked into guesthouse for three nights, in the town of Barweiler, he opted to make a break for home after hearing of friends becoming stranded near the Belgium border.
However his initial route west took him to the village of Müsch, whose bridge had been destroyed.
“Most of the town had gone,” he said.
An alternative route was also blocked, forcing him to U-turn and retrace his steps through Barwelier and up north.
“I drove for hours, it was a nightmare,” he said.
“I was starting to panic a bit. I could have gone back to the guesthouse but I was desperate to get home, knowing that more bad weather was forecast.”
Back home, wife Gemma was frantic with worry.
“She was torn between wanting me to get home as soon as possible and wanting me to book into accommodation and not take any risks,” he said.
Skirting debris, Craig saw destruction everywhere. Rocks and soil covered roads, and roadside barriers were ripped away.
It was only by making a huge detour via Cologne and Dusseldorf that he was able to make his way to Calais.
After passing a Covid test, he decided to continue his journey home rather than lay up for the night.
The whole journey took him 15 hours.
“Looking back, it didn’t seem real, he said.
“It was only when I got home that I began to realise the magnitude of what happened.
“At the time I probably didn’t realise the risks I was taking to get back home.
“There were one of two bridges I probably should not have gone across, as the water was level with the road and flowing fast.”
Sign up for our daily newsletter to keep up to date with all the essential information at www.mirror.co.uk/email .
Since returning home, he has had time to reflect on the good fortune he enjoyed – and how things could have ended much worse.
“I usually book my own accommodation and there’s a place in a village I often go to,” he said.
“On this occasion someone else booked my room. It was just as well, as the village I normally stay in was washed away by the floods.
“I’ve been thinking about that quite a lot since I got back home.”