The Slovenia Times

Record Rainfall Causes Major Disruption in C Slovenia


The worst disruption was reported from Ljubljana and areas west and north of the capital with heaviest flooding in the wider area around Škofja Loka and north-western parts of the capital.

In just eight hours of last night 137 millimetres of rainfall was registered in Ljubljana and over 200 mm in Gorenja Vas, 30-kilometres west of Ljubljana, which Brane Gregorčič of the Environment Agency (ARSO) said were close to hundred-year highs.

People were evacuated from several houses threatened by high waters in the watershed of Poljanska Sora, in the Škofja Loka area and south-west. Some 500 buildings were flooded and another 500 were reported to be in danger of flooding.

While the river Sora rose by three metres in less than three hours, more than 200 houses were flooded in the municipality of Žiri alone.

There have been no reports of victims, but a person was rescued from water during the night in Žiri. However, Škofja Loka Mayor Miha Ješe said that the damage appears to be considerable as business premises were also flooded.

Several bridges have collapsed, and the region remains blocked so it is too early to assess the damage, ARSO hydrologist Janez Polajnar said, estimating though that the damage would be substantial.

Even in other parts of the country, fire-fighters were busy pumping water from homes and removing fallen trees from roads, as well as putting out smaller fires caused by lightning.

The situation is expected to stabilise after the skies cleared in the morning.

Western parts of Ljubljana saw flood waters similar to those in the devastating floods in 2010 as small streams fed by waters from the hills west and north of the city turned into torrents.

A section of Tržaška cesta, one of the radial roads leading into the city centre, and the slip road connecting it to the Ljubljana bypass was closed to traffic as rain waters that flooded the Podutik borough moved to Vič.

Due to flooding children were evacuated from some of the kindergartens there, and locals were urged to remove their vehicles to higher ground, according to Ljubljana disaster relief official Robert Kus.

Civil rescue teams in Ljubljana have been joined by troops to help with the clean-up effort, with damage assessment set to begin once the water has been pumped out of buildings and the debris removed.

The Faculty of Biotechnology has cancelled lectures due to floods. Also flooded were the premises of the Ljubljana Administrative Court.

Meanwhile, the east of the country was affected by strong winds, which uprooted trees and peeled off roofs from several buildings.

Power outages affected 17,000 households in the Štajersko region, with disruption also reported elsewhere, but the service has in the meantime been mostly restored.

According to ARSO, winds were gusting at 60 to 80 kilometres an hour in the greater part of the country, with the tramontana wind on the coast blowing at up to 90 kilometres. Sea waves reached up to 2.5 metres.

Meanwhile, the Marko Vidmar Electric Power Research Institute recorded some 20,000 lightning strikes over the past night, which is highly unusual of the autumn season, the news portal reported.

Usually, such frequency of lightning activity is more likely to be observed over summertime, the institute told the portal.

This was the third major flooding this year, hydrologist Polajnar said, warning that the country should brace yet for November, the most flood-prone month.

The weather is expected to stabilise in the coming days although northerly winds will increase again on Friday mainly in northern parts of the country, where gusts may exceed 70 kilometres an hour. Otherwise, the outlook for the weekend is fine.


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