Severe floods hit parts of the country

Komenda/Žiri/Idrija, 4 August - Heavy rain has caused severe flooding in western, northern and parts of central Slovenia, while the Environment Agency (ARSO) has raised the weather alert to its highest as more rain and floods are expected.

Floods in the municipality of Vuzenica in the northern region of Koroška.
Photo: Vuzenica Fire Brigade

Šempeter v Savinjski Dolini
The Savinja flooding in east-central Slovenia around the city of Celje.
Photo: Šempeter v Savinjski Dolini Fire Brigade

Floods in the area of Škofja Loka, some 20 km north-west of Ljubljana
Photo: Reteče - Gorenja Vas Fire Brigade

The river Sora bursts its banks in the Medvode area.
Photo: Sani Karić/STA

Komenda, north of Ljubljana, flooded after a night of heavy rain.
Photo: STA

Komenda, north of Ljubljana, flooded after a night of heavy rain.
Photo: STA

Komenda, north of Ljubljana, flooded after a night of heavy rain.
Photo: STA

Komenda, north of Ljubljana, flooded after a night of heavy rain.
Photo: STA

Komenda, north of Ljubljana, flooded after a night of heavy rain.
Photo: STA

ARSO data shows parts of northern, north-western and central Slovenia received more than 100 millimetres of rain within 24 hours, which is a month's worth of rain on average.

As the rain is expected to continue well into Saturday, a red alert was issued for those parts of the country as rivers have already burst their banks in some parts.

A state of emergency due to flooding has been declared in Komenda, north of Ljubljana, and people have been asked not to leave their homes in Kamnik, where all the kindergartens have been closed as all roads are blocked.

People have had to be evacuated from several parts of the country, including the Ličnica Valley in the Medvode municipality north-west of Ljubljana.

Downpours have also caused floods and landslides in the north-western Gorenjska region. "The whole Gorenjska in under water," the regional Civil Protection commander Klemen Šmid summed up the situation for the STA.

The situation is worst in the Škofja Loka area, the valleys of Selca and Poljane, both of which have been cut off as flood water is blocking the roads.

Residential, commercial and other buildings have been flooded in the wider Škofja Loka area and landslides are threatening houses and roads. A fire engine has been damaged by a landslide in Trebija and a sports hall has been flooded in Gorenja Vas.

In Žiri, more than 100 buildings have been flooded, including several companies. Most of the roads are unpassable.

Flood water and landslides have also blocked several roads in the western town of Idrija, where people have been urged not to leave their homes except when absolutely necessary.

The Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration has recorded more than 1,000-weather related incidents within 12 hours across the country with roughly 170 firefighting units deployed in response.

Throughout the night firefighters were busy pumping water from flooded buildings, rescuing flooded vehicles, removing debris from under bridges and securing landslides.

People have been evacuated from at least three campsites.

There have been reports of flooded homes and landslides and flood water blocking roads from other parts of the country, including the areas of Tolmin and Cerkno and the Koroška region in the north.

Many roads, houses and business premises have been flooded in Koroška and the Savinja Valley and the Šalek Valley with several people caught at their flooded homes calling for help.

The NLB bank announced that many of its bank offices at the flood-hit areas would be unable to open today, in particular those in Koroška and the Kamnik areas.

The floods have caused disruption to rail and bus services with several railway sections blocked in the north and north-west, as A2 motorway between Ljubljana and Kranj has been opened for drivers without vignettes to serve as a bypass for flooded local and state roads.

The flood wave is moving south-east so problems are also expected there.

Meanwhile, warning sirens have went off in the wider areas of Maribor and Ptuj in the north-west due to the high discharge of the Drava River, which at the moment is almost 1,800 cubic metres per second in the Melje dam area.

Drago Murko of the Ptuj division of the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration said the Drava discharge at the Zlatoličje hydro power stations exceeded 2,000 m3, which was still within normal.

This was after Austria announced yesterday that the level of the Edling reservoir would be lowered.

From Thursday 4pm to 4am this morning, the heaviest rainfall was recorded at weather stations Pasja Ravan north-west of Ljubljana at 182.7 mm, and Vogel and Rudno Polje in the Alps at over 170 mm. More than 150 mm of rain was recorded at Ljubljana airport.

© STA, 2023