The situation in Slovenia is extremely serious, with the Slovenian Environmental Agency changing the warning for the northern half of the country from orange to red on Friday morning. “Large-scale flash floods are intensifying in northern Slovenia. A significant flood wave will move downstream on the Savinja, Kamniška Bistrica and Gradaščica rivers in the next few hours, while the Poljanska Sora river is already flooding to a great extent in its lower reaches,” the Environmental Agency tweeted on Thursday. A Slovenian citizen from Kamnik and two Dutch citizens in the mountains in the Kranj area lost their lives during the severe storms. A wider evacuation started in Celje on Friday afternoon.
Catastrophic floods have swept across large parts of Slovenia. The rainfall feeding the flood wave is far from over, so make sure to stay safe. The brunt of the heaviest rainfall will soon move to the south-east of the country, then along the Croatian border to the north-east of the country. Torrents and watercourses have started to flood, with the Krka, Sava, Drava and Dravinja rivers expected to flood as well, while the Sava River is at a record flow near the Croatian border. Srečko Šestan, Commander of the Civil Protection of the Republic of Slovenia, told the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) that access to the affected areas was blocked in many places. Several people had to be rescued from the Menina camp by helicopter, and there are also problems with communications. At the Civil Protection headquarters, the police have also reported several deaths in the mountains, but they have no concrete information on the circumstances yet.
“While in many parts of the country not even a drop of rain has fallen yet, or only a few millimetres, more than 100 millimetres have already fallen in northern, north-western, and parts of central Slovenia,” the Environmental Agency reported on Friday morning. Meteorologist Blaž Šter commented that “the situation is very bad”. “Since 8 p.m. on Thursday, in a belt from northern Primorska, Gorenjska, Savinjska and Koroška, we have seen more than 100 millimetres of rainfall in many places, even 150 to 200 millimetres locally,” he tweeted, adding that the belt of heavy rainfall is still persisting.
“It seems that the death in Kamnik could have been caused by flooding, while in the mountains, it is more likely that the two deaths were caused by lightning. The circumstances of the deaths are still being established,” said Maja Adlešič Ciperle of the General Police Directorate. Police were informed of the death of the Slovenian citizen in Kamnik on Friday morning, and it has since been confirmed that she did, indeed, die because of the flood. The deaths of two foreigners were reported on Thursday evening.
The Environmental Agency said that stationary heavy rains have been recurring for several hours in Gorenjska and Koroška regions, as well as in the Idrija, Škofja Loka and Polhov Gradec hills. This means that large-scale flash floods are also intensifying in the area. According to the Agency, the Gradaščica River, in its upper reaches, has already flooded to a great extent during the night. The Poljanska Sora River is also already flooding to a great extent. Rainfall is still picking up in these areas, and large-scale flash floods are likely. Rainfall has already started to cover part of the country in the evening, causing some problems, particularly in Koroška and Gorenjska.
The increased flow of the rivers will spread over most of the country during the day. Flooding of torrents and smaller rivers is likely at first, with rivers flooding in the Podravje, Pomurje and Posavje, and Savinja, Krka and Kolpa river basins and a wider area of central Slovenia during the day and into the night on Saturday. Photos and videos of the catastrophic situation from several locations across Slovenia are circulating on social media.
Many roads are closed due to the storms, flooding, sand and mud deposits and landslides, according to the Traffic Information Centre for Public Roads.
– the Gorenjska highway; Lesce connection to Karavanke,
– the Gorenjska highway; Brnik to Ljubljana.
Main and regional roads:
– Dravograd – Maribor: at Ožbalt, Boštjan and Gortina;
– Dravograd – Ravne na Koroškem;
– Velenje – Mislinja and Huda luknja;
– Dravograd – Slovenj Gradec, Otiski vrh bridge over Mislinja.;
– Laško – Breze – Šentjur, underpass in Laško.
– Škofja Loka – Gorenja vas, the Sten tunnel;
– Škofja Loka – Železniki near Studeno;
– Zbilje – Vodice;
– Zgornje Jezersko – Spodnje Jezersko;
– the general area around Most pri Komendi;
– Jezero – Stara Fužina;
– Medvode – Ljubljana, the bridge over the Sora River;
– Tržič – Ljubelj, on the Austrian side.
– Trebija – Žiri;
– Marof – Žiri;
– Rovte – Žiri near Brekovica;
– Tolmin – Idrija – Logatec: at Dolenjja Trebuša, between Spodnja Idrija and Idrija and at Marof;
– Podbrdo – Petrovo Brdo.
The Kamnik-Savinjsko area:
– Kamnik – Gornji Grad;
– Luče – Ljubno, at the bridge in Luče;
– the Mozirje and Nazarje area.
– Dobrova – Polhov Gradec – Ljubljanica;
– the area near Dolgi most, around Mali Graben
Many local roads are also closed. Drivers, please follow the instructions of the emergency services and do not drive in flooded areas or on closed roads.
A gradual decrease in rainfall from the west can be expected on Saturday. However, it will still rain occasionally, especially in the south, where some thunderstorms are possible. Morning temperatures will be between 12 and 17 degrees Celsius, and daytime highs will be between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius. Caution is still needed for heavy precipitation. Prolonged showers may occur on Friday and during the first part of the night, which may lead to the flooding of watercourses. Further rises in water levels are expected, and it is advisable to avoid areas along rivers and streams.
In areas where heavy rainfall has fallen during the night, there have also been power cuts, with as many as 16,000 customers being left without electricity. In many places, water is not potable and needs to be boiled, and some shops are running out of bottled water. In Koroška, water has flooded the streets, and the flood wave is spreading. In the Luče area, some people have even had to move up onto their roofs because of flooding. The north-west of the country is also experiencing floods. The Civil Protection Commander said about the Gorenjska region that “the whole of Gorenjska is underwater.”
A state of emergency was declared in the municipality of Kamnik, evacuations were also necessary in the municipalities of Medvode, Žirovnica and Radovljica. The water also flooded the premises of the psychiatric hospital in Begunje, so patients had to be moved to other hospitals. Several houses are also under water in the Tolmin and Idrija-Cerkljansko regions. The storm has disrupted rail links with Škofja Loka.
The night brought devastation to the municipality of Mozirje. After 3 a.m., all relevant services were activated, and the situation was the worst in Mozirje’s market square, where the Trnjava river spilled. There is also great devastation in Ljubno ob Savinji, where three houses have already been swept away by the rising Savinja River.
Helicopter rescue in Škofja Loka
The traffic situation in the country is also catastrophic. Heavy rains have flooded and closed many roads across the country, even motorways. The stormy weather is not over yet, so keep an eye on road conditions and adjust your driving. Drivers, please follow the instructions of the services on duty and do not drive in flooded areas or on closed roads, the Traffic Information Centre for Public Roads advises. Rail transport is also disrupted, and some local roads are closed, making it impossible to run alternative bus services.
More than 200 litres of rain per square metre
The heaviest rainfall in the last 12 hours happened in the southern foothills of the Julian Alps and from Idrija through the northern part of the Ljubljana basin to the Koroška region, where more than 150 and sometimes even more than 200 litres of rain per square metre fell in many places.
According to hydrologists at the Environment Agency, the main precipitation events will gradually move over southern and eastern Slovenia, where more than 200 litres of rain per square metre may also fall. The showers will break out over the Gorski kotar and then, with strong south-westerly winds blowing at high altitudes, spread across Kočevje, Dolenjska and Bela Krajina regions towards the north-east of the country, according to the forecast on Meteoinfo.si. Flooded areas along rivers in Gorenjska, Koroška and central Slovenia will start to decrease in the upper reaches of rivers in the coming hours, but will increase in the middle and lower reaches. During the day and overnight, rivers in the Savinja, Drava, Mura, Krka and Kolpa river basins and Sava in the middle and lower reaches will rise rapidly. Strong rising and flooding of torrential watercourses is likely to continue on Saturday, especially in southern and south-eastern Slovenia. Rivers in this broader area will flood to a greater extent, especially in the evening and during the night on Saturday.
People are being evacuated in Celje
The Municipality of Celje informs that due to the extremely poor hydrological forecast, the entire area of Lisce on the right bank and Trubarjeva, Malgajeva to Ljubljanska Street and the entire Old Town on the left bank of the Savinja River is being evacuated. Residents in the wider Celje area are being asked to boil their water.