Hailstorms leave destruction behind in parts of the country

Celje/Novo Mesto/Slovenj Gradec – Fierce storms with strong winds, downpours and hail stones that in some parts reached the size of a tennis ball left a trail of destruction as they moved across central parts of Slovenia late on Thursday, damaging cars, buildings and crops.

In the south-east of the country, roads turned into gushing streams, flooding houses and commercial and public buildings and in Mokronog hail had to be removed from roads by a snowplough. Many households were hit by power cuts.

In the Mokronog-Trebelno municipality, more than a dozen buildings were flooded and the wind peeled off roofs from more than 15 buildings and uprooted more than 150 trees.

The hail badly damaged the roof of the Mokronog primary school and more than a hundred cars. The damage is so bad, there will be no classes today for nearly half of the pupils.

Meanwhile, in Mirna a primary school was flooded. Winds tore down electrical wiring, uncovered many roofs and toppled trees onto cars as landslides blocked several local roads.

The storms also caused extensive damage to crops, orchards and vineyards. No figures are available yet as damage assessment is yet under way. Firefighters and other services are still busy cleaning up in the aftermath of the devastation.

One firefighter was injured trying to repair the roof of a building in Šmarješke Toplice and had to be taken to hospital.

Damage is also reported from central parts of the country around Celje, Kamnik and Zagorje ob Savi, Koroško in the north and the Kozjansko area.

In Slovenj Gradec, in the north water flooded the hospital’s underground floor, including one of the surgeries, as well as a pharmacy, the new wing of diabetes treatment surgeries and transfusion unit. The hospital’s director Janez Lavre told the commercial broadcaster POP TV the damage topped EUR 25,000.

The news portal of the public broadcaster TV Slovenija has reported that storms also caused disruption to air traffic. Ljubljana airport had to cancel one flight while two aircraft had to circle above the airport for a while before they could land.