Storm warning gets extended until Tuesday

Downpour brings Bucharest at standstill. Storms once again ravage the country: over 800 homesteads flooded, evacuated people, damaged vehicles, roads blocked by water.

Bucharest was nearly brought at standstill by a downpour Friday evening, which affected even the traffic of metro trains between Piata Victoriei – Piata Unirii. Because of the water that infiltrated through the ceiling, a power transformer caught fire, hampering the circulation of subway trains. The Universitate underground passageway and a number of cafes which operate here were inundated too. Water also blocked the traffic on many streets of the Capital, and entered the basements of many buildings.According to the Bucharest Transport Company (RATB), quoted by Mediafax, the crossroads Colentina – Doamna Ghica, Mosilor – Paleologu Street and Reinvierii – Turmelor Street located in District 2 of the Capital were flooded, and the trolleybuses of the line 66 and the trams of lines 5, 16, 21 and 36 were blocked until water was evacuated. Serious traffic problems were reported on the Splaiul Independentei Avenue, near the Izvor Park, where water was 30 cm deep, forcing cars to use only one of the three lanes. According to the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU) Bucharest, several basements were flooded, as well as the headquarters of the Ilfov Prefect’s Office on Smardan Street, and the gym of the ‘Sf. Sava’ National College. ISU Bucharest had to intervene in 85 cases of inundated basements, with the worst hit areas being Colentina, Bucur Obor, Luigi Galvani, Dorobanti, Soseaua Nordului, Mihai Kogalniceanu, Mihai Bravu and Marasti. The Bucharest Municipality informed that, in order to help evacuate the large quantities of water, authorities decided to open the Drain leading to the sewer built alongside the Dambovita River, which evacuated over 2.5 million cubic meters of water.Given flash-floods on the Jiu River, upstream of Filiasi, and on the Gilort River, weather services yesterday issued a Code Yellow Flood Warning for the Filiasi – Podari segment of the Jiu, in Dolj County, while for Racari they announced that the river will exceed the flood level by 3050 cm. Weather experts also warned that rain will once again be present in Muntenia, Dobrogea, Moldavia and the Eastern Carpathians today and tomorrow, issuing a code yellow warning for 22 counties, in effect from Sunday night until Tuesday afternoon.The heavy rains that fell these days also had… political consequences. While the Ministry of Environment and Forest recommends people to stay in alert for weather warnings broadcast by the media, Environment Minister Rovana Plumb on Saturday sacked the head of the Jiu Water Basin Administration, Cosmin Petru Calin, whom he accuses of not informing the Ministry about the situation that appeared in the area, after several days of rain and floods.Throughout the country, many homesteads are in a dire situation, because of storms and abundant rain. According to a press release issued by the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, over 100 localities in 20 counties were affected by showers these days and more than 800 homesteads were flooded.In the Bacau County, 15 localities were hit by water, and over 200 houses and dozens of hectares of farmland were inundated. In the town of Buhusi, Bacau County, 25 houses were partly covered by water Thursday evening, and three people were evacuated from one of these homes, which was in danger of collapse.In Buzau County, 11 localities – including the towns of Buzau and Ramnicu Sarat – faced the effects of downpours these days, with more than 60 homesteads and several basements being flooded.In Ciorani, Prahova County, the Cricovul Sarat River made its way into several yards and gardens, forcing villagers to evacuate their animals when the depth of the water reached 20 cm.In the town of Drobeta Turnu Severin, Mehedinti County, two cars were damaged by a fallen tree, and several basements were flooded Friday evening, during a storm. Also in Mehedinti, torrents running down mountain slopes washed away tons of debris and garbage, taking them first to the Cerna River, and then to the Danube.In Vrancea County, five fishermen were blocked Friday on a small island in the middle of the Trotus, near the town of Adjud, when the water level suddenly increased after a flash storm. An ISU team responded the call and promptly rescued the fishermen.Heavy rain also hampered road traffic. In the counties of Caras-Severin, Bacau, Dambovita and Arges, six national roads were blocked by water and landslides Thursday evening. Traffic resumed on three of them, in the counties of Caras-Severin and Bacau, but is still closed on the other three. The Infotrafic Center of Romanian Police warns drivers over restrictions in effect on several roads, including the Transfagarasan, because of either landslides, or restoration works.

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