July 2008 Torrential Rains Cause Flooding in TARG Villages and Throughout Poland's Southern and Slovakia's Central and Eastern Regions
The main bridge across the Bialka River linking the towns of Bukowina Tatrzanska and Czarna Gora in Polish Spisz gave way on July 25, 2008 after many days of heavy rains. The Bialka River served for centuries here as the dividing line between Slovakia and Poland before the border change of 1920.
The Bialka River racing north toward Trybsz, Poland and loaded with debris from fallen and uprooted trees. At this location the river in summer is usually a popular suning and swimming spot and can be crossed easily by wading across.
All creeks flowing out of the Tatras were tunred into muddy torrents, their waters even flowing around the forrest trees near its banks.
Even the smallest village brooks overtopped their bridges in this region.
Officals did everything they could to divert water away from tourist lodging in Zakopane, Poland, but had difficulty keeping up with the storms.
Zakopane's Goral statue looked like Moses parting the Red Sea.
The grassy banks of the river park through Nowy Targ, Poland were under water as brown flood waters streched from embankment to embankment.
Roadways became rivers and stranded vehicles like this delivery van in Zakopane.
Locals became stranded as low spots became creeks.
Eroding hillsides threatened roads everywhere like this one in Slovakia near the Polish border.
Volunteers filling sandbags in Zdiar, Slovakia.
Efforts in Zdiar hold back swollen Biela creek.
Hardest hit were the areas around Stara L'ubovna, Slovakia. Two people died near there in the village of Circ.
Though not in Eastern Europe, it is ironic that a month ago in June 2008 (on Friday the 13th) powerful storms in the Midwestern U.S. flooded the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library as well as the adjacent Czech Village in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. President Clinton, Czech President Vaclav Havel and Slovakia's President Michal Kovac all attended the dedication here in 1995. The Czech and Slovak governments together have now promised $1 million dollars to help begin rebuilding the complex.
For more information and pictures about the Summer 2008 flooding in Poland and Slovakia please see our July 2008 e-Newsletter issue HERE and also visit the following websites:
Slovak News Coverage and Stories:
Pictures from Zdiar, Slovakia:
Pictures from Polish Spisz:
Slovinky video on YouTube:
Pictures from the Kosice region of Slovakia:
National Czech & Slovak museum News Story:
Zakopane Flooding Videos:
Ludzmierz Flooding Video:
Sromowce Wyzne Dam Video on the Dunajec:
Report and Footage of Slovak Flooding for Czech TV:
Footage of Flooding in Bardejov, Slovakia:
(Thank you to Lucjan Soltys for contributing greatly to this report.)
To see pictures and information on the devastating windstorm in the Slovak Tatras in November 2004, click HERE.
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