Roads and cars in downpour misery
The Vega Baja region, and especially Torrevieja and the Orihuela Costa, was hit last Saturday night and Sunday morning by huge cloudbursts that formally signalled the end of the long hot summer. Other areas of Spain though fared worse, with three fatalities discovered at the beginning of the week in the southern Andalucia region.
The Mastral Project (pictures from their site and that of the Informacion newspaper) recorded falls of up to 78 litres per square metre of overnight rain between Saturday and Sunday at their measuring centre in the Aguas Neuvas area of Torrevieja:- some three times the total amount of rain that has fallen throughout the whole year! The peak of the storm was between 2.00am and 3.00am. During the same period, Rojales registered 58.8 litres and Orihuela 34.4 litres per square metre, whilst further north, Alicante City in contrast had only 11.8 litres of rain.
Road blockages and landslides were reported across the Vega Baja area, with the CV905 route between Torrevieja and Crevillente closed for six hours due to flooding in the city area, as well as fire engines being used to pump out water to keep traffic moving close to the Parque de las Naciones. The sheer force of the water swept away two cars on la Avenida de Roentgen close to the city’s Los Locos beach, and motorists were stranded in their vehicles trying to get through parts of the Altos del Limonar urbanisation. On the Orihuela Costa, the underpass from the Town Hall to Playa Flamenca beach was flooded whilst the La Glea walkway at Campoamor beach had to be closed due to flooding. Landslides affected the CV-950 heading towards Torremendo lake, and also the CV-920 at Benejúzar.
The Murcia region’s Emergency Co-ordination Centre got over 340 calls about the weather, with localised flooding, as well as 76 roads blocked for a time, with 41 water pumps being used, and 23 people were rescued, in addition to several power cuts plus several road accidents caused by the poor driving conditions. There was a big plus side though as the farmer’s union in the region, Asaja Murcia welcomed the downpours which they said would help all the dried out crops.
On Monday evening and Tuesday morning, more rain hit the Costa Blanca, causing the greatest impact in the northern part of the region, with the streets of Altea and Benidorm knee-deep in water. The storms returned on Tuesday lunchtime and afternoon, with 30 litres of water being dumped on Torrevieja in just 20 minutes, with roads like Calle Rambla Juan Mateo being flooded. Most of the Vega Baja region was once again hit, with hailstones mixed in with the rain. Beach areas including La Zenia (pictured) on the Orihuela Costa were having to start clear-up work again after suffering damage from the weekend storms.
The Valencia and Murcia regions got off lightly though compared to the southern region of Andalucia that saw three lives lost at the start of the week. A 61-year-old man became the first fatality of the floods after his car was washed away in Polopos-La Mamola on Monday. Later that same day, a man’s body was found in Albuñol in Granada when flood water receded. On Tuesday morning, a third victim was discovered washed up on a beach in Castell de Ferro, on the coast south of Granada. The man in his sixties was thought to have been carried down to the beach by flood water.