Severe weather alert for storms until Saturday morning

Bucharest, 27 counties hit by strong wind and torrential rain.

The storms and torrential rain front will be moving over the weekend to the eastern half of Romania, according to meteorologists, who issued a storm and rain watch in Bucharest and 27 counties, into effect from Thursday noontime and through Saturday morning, 6.00 a.m., during which torrential rain is highly likely, along with thunderstorms, gusty wind and hailstorms. Scattered precipitations will exceed 30l/square meter, while spotty areas may see water levels of 60-70l/square meter. Meteorologists say similar developments will also happen elsewhere in the country, yet in confined areas and for shorter periods of time.

The watch ended yesterday at noon for western Romania. Fourteen localities in the counties of Hunedoara and Caras-Severin experienced power outages due to a storm Wednesday night into Thursday morning. According to an Enel Distributie Banat release, the storm incurred damages to the medium voltage electrical networks within the operational area of the company. “This morning <yesterday>, four medium voltage aerial power lines were left without electricity, as well as 15 substations resulting in eight localities being affected in the Resita and Bozovici areas,” Mediafax cited the release as saying. Eight Enel Distributie Banat crews were deployed to the scene to restore the networks and electricity supply.

Also in Hunedoara County, damaging winds pulled the metal roof off an Orastie apartment building. On its way down, the roof broke a portion of the building’s exterior wall insulation, damaging three cars in a nearby parking space, according to Lieutenant Sorin Rusu with the Hunedoara Inspectorate for Emergency Situations. Two chestnut trees felled onto an alley in Orastie. No victims or property damaged was reported. Targu Jiu too faced a powerful storm that pulled the roof off a building and on to several cars parked below.

Oradea was flooded by overwhelming water from a heavy downpour. The sewage system couldn’t cope with the excessive load, with water overflowing throughout the city streets, underground passageways and gardens. As if that was not bad enough already, a roof perished in a fire caused by a thunderbolt. Heavy rain and hailstorms hit several localities in Caras-Severin County, where hen egg size hail wrecked hectares worth of crops.

Bucharest hit by powerful rainstorm

Just a few hours after issuing a weather alert for the Eastern half of the country, meteorologists issued a two-hour storm alert for Bucharest and Ilfov County. Dark clouds covered the sky in only few minutes, strong wind gusts swept the streets and a torrential downpour started. Public transportation was disrupted at the intersection of Pache Protopopescu Boulevard with Matei Voievoid Boulevard, several trams and trolleybuses being stuck in traffic there.
Hailstones the size of a cherry fell near Balotesti locality. On National Road 1 several cars pulled over and waited for the storm to stop. Their windshields had been broken by hailstones and the drivers were afraid to continue driving. Authorities state the drivers took the correct decision because several trees were uprooted farther down the road.
Traffic was disrupted on National Road 7 too, in the Vlasia forest area at the administrative border between the Ilfov and Dambovita Counties, after several tree branches fell on the road. In Butimanu locality a tree fell on the road and traffic was blocked on one lane.

Yesterday afternoon’s powerful storm uprooted three trees in Ploiesti. According to Marina Dinu, spokesperson of the Prahova County Emergency Situations Inspectorate (ISU), a tree uprooted by the storm fell on a car, while two others fell on the road, Mediafax informs. Firefighters cleared the road.

Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu yesterday summoned the weather emergencies command, following the warning issued by ANM. According to the mayor, yesterday’s violent storm broke 11 trees in the city. The Bucharest Administration of Lakes, Parks and Leisure Areas (ALPAB) will send its teams to remove the trees that might block the traffic. With the storm warning in effect until Saturday morning, Apa Nova water company has assembled 24 mobile teams with 50 pumps, ready to intervene against possible street floods, Realitatea TV informs.

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