Hi Rick, You are currently on vacation in Slovenia near a flood zone. What do you see from your vacation spot?
We have been in Slovenia for two and a half weeks, and are currently staying not too far from the city of Kranj, in the northwest of the country. We are on an old farm along a river in a beautiful green lane.
“We heard earlier that a nice little river runs by the house. This week we stood in that river and the crystal-clear water came up to our ankles. Last night it rained all night, and when we looked at the river this morning, it had turned into a dark, swirling stream.
‘This makes you a little nervous. Especially when a neighbor told us that we couldn’t get out of the valley because of landslides and floods. This means you are stuck in a 15 km long valley between two cliffs. Then you will look at a place with different eyes. Then you start thinking about whether you can still park your car, where you parked it, or how to get to the roof, if necessary.
“The owner of the hut tried to reassure us by saying that the house had been standing for 250 years and had never been flooded. When I studied in Delft I learned to design dams. They are based on events that happen once every thousand or ten thousand years. So 250 years is nothing.”
It reminded me of the German town of Schöld in the Eifel region. I was there two years ago to report on the massive floods. This was also a village nestled between the mountains that had been completely swallowed up by a flood river. Here too, there is not enough space for the river. There is about 100 meters between two rock walls where the river flows between them. The river can only rise and you don’t know how much rain will fall in the coming hours.
Were you prepared for this much rain?
“Yesterday we were still in the sun with a temperature of 26 degrees in the capital, Ljubljana. The weather apps said there was a 90 to 100 percent chance of rain, but we had seen that before. Then the shower finally came. We really didn’t see this coming.
It wasn’t a big storm either, but it rained a lot and for a long time. As much rain falls in one day as it usually falls in a month. Then you have to remember that all this rain has to flow through a funnel.
But what does the river look like now?
“The river has flooded on one side, but now we are on the right side of the river. This afternoon, the water level also dropped slightly, but before you knew it, the river began to rise quickly again. It has been dry for a while, but “Now it’s starting to rain. We can get out of the valley again, so if we want to leave it’s okay.”
Read more: Three dead, including two Dutch, due to “biblical” floods in Slovenia
And Jan Slindbrok
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