Hi Rick, You are currently on vacation in Slovenia near the flood zone. What do you see from your vacation spot?
We’ve been in Slovenia for two and a half weeks, and we’re currently staying not too far from Kranj, in the northwest of the country. We are on an old farmhouse along a river in a beautiful green lane.
“We had heard before that a nice little river ran by the house. This week we stood in that river and the crystal clear water was 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.
‘It 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 canyon 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 in a 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. And that was also a village nestled among the mountains that had been completely swallowed up by a flooding river. Here too, there is not enough room for a river. There is about 100 meters between two rock walls as the river flows between them. The river can only rise and you never know how much rain will fall in the coming hours.
Were you prepared for this much rain?
“Yesterday we were still in the 26-degree sun in the capital, Ljubljana. The weather apps said there was a 90 to 100 percent chance of rain, but we’ve seen it 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. It rains in one day as much as it usually does 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. This afternoon, the water level has also decreased slightly, but before you know it, the river is starting to rise rapidly 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 all right.’
Read more: Three dead, including two Dutchmen, due to “biblical” floods in Slovenia
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