The Slovenia Times

Flooding damage most likely to exceed limit set for state aid


Osilnica/Kostel - Environment Minister Uroš Brežan visited the two municipalities along the river Kolpa in the south, Osilnica and Kostel, which were strongly affected by the recent heavy rain and floods. Local officials agreed the damage will most likely exceed EUR 3.5 million, the limit set for eligibility for state aid after natural disasters.

Brežan and the mayors of Osilnica and Kostel, Alenka Kovač and Ivanom Črnkovič, assessed the situation was still serious. They are happy that the state responded quickly and that the army too arrived today to help deal with the damage after the flooding that hit the south-east of the country the most on Friday and Saturday.

Today, 58 soldiers are helping out with six trucks, six off-road vehicles and an excavator. The Slovenian Armed Forces will remain at the site in the coming days, at least until Wednesday, when a more detailed assessment of the situation is expected.

There is still a lot of mud on roads and backyards and the riverbeds are still filled with rocks and wood, which needs to be cleaned before the next rainfall.

Preliminary assessments show that the most damaged national road is the one running through Osilnica, and the near-by houses and surfaces are damaged too. In Osilnica, some 15 houses were flooded and another 30 in Kostel, where three water supply systems were destroyed along with a small private power plant.

Osilnica is officially still cut off and only accessible through Croatia. The local road can be used but at own risk.

The national logistics centre in Roje has so far sent 10 pumps, 100 anti-flooding bags, 240 kilos of foil, 10 dehumidifiers, and about 350 litres of bottled water to Osilnica.

In the Črnomelj municipality, several basements were flooded along with camp sites and some roads near the river.

In the Metlika municipality, the swollen river caused the most damage to a farmer who lost a herd of 300 sheep, Metlika Mayor Darko Zevnik told the STA.

The minister said today such events showed that more should be done to regulate rivers in the country.

"We are discussing the 2023 and 2024 budget proposals now, so I hope this event will encourage us to start securing funding to prevent such events in the future. Studies show that one euro invested in prevention means four to six euro lower costs during such events," he told the STA.

In Kostel, the damage is to be assessed more precisely on Tuesday but it is expected to exceed EUR 1.5 million. In Osilnica it is to top EUR 1 million. The state aid mechanism is launched if the total damage in all municipalities exceeds EUR 3.5 million.


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