Flood damage in Dravograd on infrastructure and homes alone exceeds EUR 10m

Dravograd, 22 August - Dravograd, one of the municipalities worst-hit by floods in early August, has suffered over EUR 10 million in damage on infrastructure and residential buildings alone, Mayor Anton Preksavec said on Tuesday, adding that damage to the local economy will be far greater. The locals are worried about autumn rain, fearing additional flooding.

A temporary bridge is being built across the Mislinja in Otiški Vrh.
Photo: Vesna Pušnik Brezovnik/STA

"The damage is enormous. I trust that the state will support the economy, so that they will be able to get back on their feet as soon as possible," the mayor said.

In addition to a number of landslides that caused the evacuation of 35 people and blocked several roads, Preksavec is currently very worried about river beds, which are littered with flood debris.

"I have been urging those in charge to start this work. Unless they take this very seriously, the municipality will, in line with the law, start the emergency work itself, and bill the concession-holder. Autumn is at the door, there is no time to conduct studies!"

The mayor also said that the rock stacks along the river banks had proved insufficient, having been destroyed or damaged, therefore concrete banks will have to be constructed. "With all of our river banks in such vulnerable state, we await the autumn with dread."

Meanwhile, repair works continue and a temporary bridge across the Mislinja in Otiški Vrh is expected to be opened on the weekend, restoring two-way traffic on a vital link between Dravograd and Slovenj Gradec.

Iztok Černoša, the head of the regional branch of the utility Voc Celje, which holds a concession for the maintenance of state roads in Koroška, said on Monday that the situation was steadily improving and that all roads are open, but some sections allow only one-way traffic.

As the company is carrying out urgent repairs, it is also putting together a damage assessment on infrastructure and designing new projects, he added.

"The boys are working at full force, only resting on Sundays, so that all roads will be repaired and open for two-way traffic as soon as possible," said Černoša.

In total, four temporary bridges are being assembled on state roads at the moment, Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek said on Monday. Apart from Otiški Vrh, bridges are being put up in Domžale, Dol pri Ljubljani and near Stahovica.

© STA, 2023