Hi Rick, You are now on holiday in Slovenia near the flood zone. What do you see from your vacation spot?
We are now in Slovenia for two and a half weeks and are currently staying not far from Kranj, in the northwest of the country. We are on an old farmhouse along a river in a beautiful green lane.
“We’ve heard before that a nice little river ran through the house. This week we stood in that river and the water was crystal clear up to our ankles. It rained all night last night and when we looked at the river this morning it turned into a dark, swirling stream.”
This makes you a little nervous. Especially when a neighbor told us we couldn’t get out of the valley because of landslides and floods. This means that you are stuck in a 15-kilometer valley between two cliffs. Then you will look at a place with different eyes. Then you start thinking about whether it is still possible to park your car, where you parked it, or how to get to the roof, if necessary.
The owner of the cottage tried to reassure us by saying that the house has been standing for 250 years and has never been flooded. When I studied in Delft, I learned about dam design. They are based on events that happen once every thousand or ten thousand years. 250 years is nothing.
It reminded me of the German town of Schöld in the Eifel. I was there two years ago to report on the massive floods. That was also a village among the mountains that had been completely swallowed up by a flooding river. Here too, the river has a small area. There is about 100 meters between two rock walls as the river flows between them. The river can only rise and you don’t know how much rain will fall in the coming hours.
Are you prepared for heavy rain?
Yesterday we were still in the 26-degree sun in the capital, Ljubljana. Weather apps indicated that there is a 90 to 100 percent chance of rain, but we’ve experienced that before. Then I finally fell into a shower. We really didn’t expect this to come.
It wasn’t a big storm either, but it rained a lot, for a long time. Precipitation falls in a day as much as it usually falls in a month. Then you have to remember that all that 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. The water level also dropped slightly this afternoon, but before you know it, the river is rapidly rising again. It was 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 that’s fine.
Read more: Three dead, including two Dutch, as a result of “biblical” floods in Slovenia
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