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Flash floods in Southern Poland, Krakow Unaffected.

KRAKOW TOURS – Flash floods brought on by rains in central Europe and the Baltic have killed at least 15, officials say.

Rivers overflowed their banks, sending torrents of water through Bogatynia in south-west Poland and Goerlitz in eastern Germany.

The Neisse river, on the border with Poland, reached its highest recorded level in Goerlitz.

Three Poles, three Germans and five Czechs were killed, while further north in Lithuania four people were killed.

Three other Czechs were reported missing after the downpours on Saturday triggered the floods.

The army, police and fire services were using helicopters and boats to move people away from the flood zones and clear flood debris.

The heavy downpour caused Poland’s Miedzianka river to overflow, flooding Bogatynia before swelling the Niesse river.

One woman drowned in Bogatynia while a 55-year-old firefighter was swept away when a dyke burst its banks.

Another woman drowned in the nearby town of Zgorzelec, across the Niesse from Goerlitz.

The Neisse reached its highest recorded level of 7.07 metres (23 feet).

“The flood wave hit the town in a few hours. We couldn’t do anything to get ready for that,” the mayor of Goerlitz, Michael Wieler, told German TV.

Police said 1,500 people evacuated their homes in Goerlitz as torrents of water rushed through the streets.

Further west, near Chemnitz, three Germans were found drowned in the flooded cellar of the building they lived in in Neukirchen, near the Czech border.

Police said they had been trying to carry furniture upstairs.

An additional five people drowned over the weekend in the Czech Republic where people were plucked by helicopter from the roofs of their homes in the towns of Chrastava and Frydlant.

As the storms moved north, four people were killed in Lithuania. Two campers died when a tree collapsed on their tent, local media reported.

The same region was hit by heavy flooding in May and June this year, killing nearly 30 people.

Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk has promised emergency aid payouts to help people affected by the floods.

August 9, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Krakow threatened by Floods again.

KRAKOW TOURS – The weather this summer has gone from one extreme to another. Unbearable heat turned to rain almost overnight, leaving some of us shivering like autumn leaves.

Some areas of Lesser Poland have been on alert since yesterday. The Dunajec in Sromowacach Wyżnych and Szreniawie in Biskupicach have risen to “alert” levels, other Wisła tributaries like Raba, Skawa and a few others in the Lesser Poland area are expected to rise considerably after the heavy rains that fell overnight. Three anti-flooding alarms and four anti-flooding emergency services have already been issued, and five rivers have passed “alarm” levels while 20 are on “high alert”.

Krakow’s Prokocim neighbourhood began flooding when the Serafa River spilled over its banks during the night. “We received information that Serafa was threatening to spill over as early as 2:00 am and have been working to remedy the situation since we received the news,” the spokesperson for Krakow’s Fire Department told Gazeta Wyborcza.

Other regions of Lesser Poland seem to be in worse situations. The Czarny Dunajec River in Nowy Targ exceeded its “alarm” level by 28 cm and the Lepietnica River in Ludźmierz exceeded its “alert” level by 61 cm. Within the last 24 hours Kasprowy Wierch in Zakopane experienced heavy rains of 60 litres per squared meter, which will further raise water levels in surrounding areas.

Meteorologists expect another rainy day today.

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Events, Krakow Travel Advice, News, Tour Information | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Krakow Flood – What a difference a week makes

KRAKOW TOURS – It’s just over a week since I took the photos of the very high water level in the Wisla river, here’s an update of how it looks today 28/5/2010.

The inset is a reminder of how it looked last week.

You can view the full flood pictures HERE

May 28, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Horrors discovered as flood water recedes.

Damaged farms, ruined fields, trash, rotting corpses and carcasses are emerging from under water as flood is gradually subsiding in the south of Poland.

The financial losses caused by flood are hard to estimate, says the government’s crisis centre. Many roads throughout the country are still impassable and power lines still down. The death toll, which so far has reached fifteen, is still on the rise as new dead bodies are being discovered. Today, the corpse of a young girl was found in Mlynowka River in the southern region of Podbeskidzie.

Water is slowly subsiding in the region but still 150 ha are under water. In Czechowice-Dziedzice, prisoners from a correctional facility in Jastrzebie Zdroj are pumping out water from the flooded area and a rescue team is providing owners of the flooded houses with food.

In Podkarpackie region the Vistula River still exceeds the emergency level and flood alerts are still valid in several villages and the town of Tarnobrzeg, one of the towns hardest hit by flood water. Over 70 rescue workers from Ukraine are pumping out the flood water from basements, drainage ditches and fields using 12 highly efficient water pumps.

Soldiers from chemical units are preparing to disinfect flood-affected areas, from which water has already withdrawn. Inhabitants of these areas are being vaccinated against tetanus. Although the flood situation in the south of Poland is stable, it may soon deteriorate again, warns forecasts, as heavy rains and thunderstorms are expected there today.

In the Mazovia region, central Poland, water is also subsiding but sanitary services warn of epidemics as water in adjacent wells and water pipes is contaminated. In the flood-stricken areas many buildings are in danger of collapsing and will have to be demolished. Teams consisting of doctors, vets and building inspectors are visiting households to check if people are fine and houses safe enough to dwell.

After the great wave, the level of water in the Vistula River in Warsaw is going down. “It’s getting better. We are monitoring embankments every 30 minutes and so far they haven’t soaked or damaged,” Arthur Lauda from Warsaw Fire Services said. Firemen are cutting out trees on embankments in Port Czerniakowski because their weight may breach the construction.

May 27, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

That was the WET week that was – Krakow Floods

Wisła River flooded

The worst flooding for over a decade struck Poland killing at least seven people and leaving a trail of devastation from the Czech border to Warsaw that could cost the country in excess of EUR 2 bln.

After days of wet weather a 24-hour downpour dropped 20 centimetres of rain on parts of southern Poland over Sunday and Monday, the equivalent of two months’ worth of rain in one day.

The deluge led to widespread flooding, first on the Czech and Slovak borders, and then further into the heart of Poland as water flowed down the rivers Wisla and Odra.

Hundreds of homes were flooded and thousands of people displaced despite the best efforts of thousands of fire-fighters, troops and volunteers to shore up dykes and flood barriers.

Donald Tusk, the prime minister, called on people to heed evacuation warnings as water levels on the Wisla hit their highest point since the Second World War.

“I appeal to everybody to evacuate when the police or firemen come and say it is time. You must not wait,” said the PM.

“I know these are tragic decisions that have to be made, but it will only be worse if you endanger your own lives and those of  the rescue teams trying to get people out of already flooded areas,” he added.

As the flood closed in on Warsaw the water river rose to 700 centimetres prompting fears of extensive flooding in the capital, and adding to the already massive bill the deluge had caused.

“I expect the losses will top EUR 2 bln and I know we will have to find more funds,” said a sombre Mr Tusk while visiting the flood stricken regions.

“We will reduce other spending to achieve that.”

With little in the way of extra cash in the state’s coffers, the government said that it might ask the EU for emergency aid.

Anna Konik-Zurawska, a regional development ministry spokeswoman, said that under EU rules Poland can draw on the European Solidarity Fund when losses surpass a certain level.

“In Poland‘s case, the European Commission set the level at EUR 2.125 billion,” she told the PAP news agency.

May 23, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , , , | 5 Comments


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