According to experts, the trouble caused by snowfall on Monday was a prelude, and the real problems are yet to come.
The cyclone that is already this evening hit the north of Greece, brings with it not only snow, but also rains with thunderstorms, which, in conditions of high snow cover, can cause dangerous floods.
Hydrologist Akis Zarkadoulas comments on the reasons why EMY issued an emergency bulletin about worsening weather in connection with the impending rains, and the snow has not yet melted: “Let the citizens stay at home. Responsible persons must immediately clear the gutters, wells and sewers of snow.
Attica barely survived blizzard unseen for many yearswhen Cyclone Elpida brought up to 70 centimeters of snow on Monday. Snow drifts literally paralyzed the capital and its environs. In the following days from Tuesday, it was quite cool, although the weather was sunny and the snow was slowly melting. But as it turned out, it is the slow melting of snow that can become a serious problem.
EMY (National Meteorological Service of Greece) has issued an alarming forecast that in the coming days, heavy precipitation in the form of snow and rain is expected, which will lead to rapid snowmelt and, according to experts, “intense floods are expected.”
It is expected that a new deterioration in the weather will begin tonight from the northwestern part of Greece. Its main characteristics will be heavy snowfalls even in the low-lying areas of the central and northern parts of the country, as well as heavy rains and thunderstorms in the southern parts of Greece.
“The fact that the snow still hasn’t melted will be a big problem,” civil engineer and hydrologist Akis Zarkadoulas told the media. “Snow itself is not a cause for concern. However, if heavy rains come, the snow that has not melted will begin to melt very intensively,” he adds.
“Rain, if it comes without snow, causes X problem,” the expert continues. “Rain with snow causes an X times Y problem. If rainwater hits the snow, it can become very dangerous and cause major rain problems in Athens. He can flood everything.” In order to prevent the state and all relevant services, according to the hydrologist, “must immediately clear snow from gutters, wells, sewers and, in general, all possible entrances to the sewer and storm systems.”
If the rain turns out to be heavy, as EMY announced, “a warning should be issued for citizens to stay in their homes so as not to be in danger,” the expert continues.
The coming danger, as well as the bitter experience of past floods in Attica, require, in the words of Mr. Zarkadoulas, “the reconstruction and redesign of the sewer system in Athens. Because huge reserves of water are accumulating, which can cause enormous damage.”
It is a matter of “the political will of the government, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the region, individual municipalities.” The expert believes that: “The flooding disaster in Athens should be recognized as a problem due to the poor design of the sewer system, and not solely due to climate change** “.
Flooding in the city of Mandra November 2017, claimed the lives of 16 people
Flood in Evia, August 2020. 5 people died.
Athens- the bus got into a water trap – October 2021
Evia flood October 2021
If this happened and the state contributed to the reconstruction of the sewer network, “we would win doubly,” says the hydrologist. “We could promote environmentally friendly solutions. In this way, we would increase the number of green spaces and use rainwater, and we would not need to use water from the rivers Acheloos and Mornos *.
*The rivers that fill the reservoir that provides Athens with drinking water.
** What about Prime Minister’s and President’s statement? After all, they constantly say that “climate change and global warming are to blame.” Under this case even ministry was created and allocated well, very solid money …