We’ve had a long, abnormally snowy winter here, followed by a few days of above-freezing temperatures (yesterday was +20 celsius here!) and intermittent rain. All of which are contributing to a pretty rapid runoff.
It’s raining pretty heavily right about now, with some areas of the Czech Republic already on third stage flood alert – the area around ÄŒeskÃ½ Krumlov, for example, and the area around the Dyje in southern Moravia. A lot of those places are upstream from Prague, so it can be expected that the flood wave will be headed toward us and then on to the Labe/Elbe drainage in the next couple of days.
This site in particular is pretty useful in monitoring the situation in more or less real time. It’s run by Povodi Vltavy, and monitors water levels at a lot of points. Mouse over the blinking dots to get more detailed information on water levels, including small graphs of levels over time.
This time around, Prague and other areas hard-hit in the 2002 floods will have the first major test of their flood barriers; all along the Vltava in Prague 1, aluminum flood walls have been purchased and their bases dug into the concrete. This application shows the extent of the 2002 floods, which could provide a rough outline of how future flood scenarios could play out.
As my dad – who I consider one of the world’s top experts on floodfighting – pointed out, in any flood, you have to watch the low-lying, high-dollar targets:
- Underground parking garages (I’ll personally be curious to see how Karlin makes it through this time around)
- Electric substations and transformers
- Metro stations (especially those along the yellow line)
- Chemicals facilities (like the Spolana Neratovice plant)
- Sewage treatment facilities
Of these, the sewage treatment facilities concern me the most, because all it takes is one or two of these upstream to begin spewing raw sewage downstream.
Obviously nobody wants to see any of this happen, especially as the country has finally shaken off the effects of the 2002 floods.