Posavje region on high alert due to swollen Sava

Krško/Brežice, 4 August - A raging Sava River has put the Posavje region in the east of the country on high alert. All hydro power stations on the lower section of the river have been temporarily shut down. The situation is currently under control, but the risk of flooding is expected to peak during the night since the water levels continue to rise.

The swollen Sava river in the north-west of the country.
Photo: Alenka Vesenjak/STA

A warning siren rang through the town of Brežice at approximately 4pm to warn citizens that the local hydro power station has opened sluice gates to battle the floods.

Bogdan Barbič, director of the company HESS, which is in charge of the hydroelectric plants in the region, told the STA that all of them had done the same to allow the Sava to run freely.

Given that the river's flow has reached 3,700 cubic metres per second and is still rising, the situation is alarming, he added.

Teams at the hydro power stations are on alert, and what may further aggravate the situation is the water levels of the Krka River, which joins the Sava, the country's longest river, in Brežice.

The risk of flooding will be at its greatest around midnight, particularly in the Brežice area. The Sava's swelling waters may reach record levels.

Citizens have been urged to leave the local areas most prone to flooding, and rescue and relief authorities are on standby. Brežice Mayor Ivan Molan has expressed concerns that certain villages or areas may be flooded.

Meanwhile, the situation at the Krško nuclear power plant is stable and under control. The swollen Sava has so far posed no threat to the plant, the authorities told the STA.

Late in the afternoon, the plant did declare an abnormal event in line with established protocols, informing the Nuclear Safety Administration of this.

"The Sava's levels are still not high enough to jeopardise the Krško plant," Tomaž Nemec from the administration told the STA, confirming that the plant was operating safely. The river's levels are expected to start dropping after midnight, he added.

© STA, 2023