Ljubljana to launch anti-floods measures on Ljubljanica

Ljubljana, 8 August - Works will be launched on the river Ljubljanica in the capital in the next five years, Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković announced on Tuesday, just days after Slovenia was hit by what are believed to be the worst floods on record. The storms left the capital largely unaffected due to anti-flood measures carried out after a severe flood in 2010.

Aiming to improve flood safety, the planned EUR 55 million project will include the removal of silt from the river bed, which will increase the capacity of the water channel, an important step to prevent flooding.

This weekend, a new water volume record was broken on the Sava, reaching 2,300 cubic metres per second, into which the Ljubljanica flows on the capital's eastern outskirts.

Janković noted that the water in the Ljubljanica has nowhere to go once Sava water volumes are high. In order to avoid flooding, the river bed must be deepened so as to increase the capacity of the channel.

On Friday, the most damage in Ljubljana was caused in the suburbs of Brod and Tacen, where the Sava flooded many homes and other buildings, even tearing down a hundred years old suspended footbridge in Vikrče.

Ljubljana will now send fire brigades to the areas most affected by the floods and the city's waste management centre will accept waste from other parts of the country without charge.

Jankovič pointed out that a gas pipeline remains closed in Medvode, a town north of Ljubljana.

He reiterated that Ljubljana fared relatively well during the heavy rains that started on Thursday evening due to flood-safety measures undertaken after extensive flooding in 2010. He put the price tag of the measures at about EUR 48 million.

Some works are still ongoing, with the mayor saying that the EU had approved EUR 30 million for measures on the canals Mali Graben and Gradaščica.

"It would be a tragedy if these projects were not completed on time and the funds could not be obtained." He believes the EU will decide to extend the deadlines, considering the situation in Slovenia.

© STA, 2023