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May 18, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Europe: Flash Floods Kill Nine

Heavy rains which fell across portions central Europe the past few days triggered flash floods which are responsible for killing at least nine people, forcing mass evacuations and cutting off power for thousands. In Poland alone, five people have now been killed in the floods over the last three days and more rain is in the forecast today and tomorrow.

Areas shaded in green represent a moderate threat for excessive rainfall and severe storms across portions of eastern Europe today including Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia. Image: ImpactWeather

The Polish interior ministry said it expected to evacuate up to 2,000 people from their homes as floods submerged fields, roads and some railway lines. More than 10,000 customers of Czech CEZ Group were left without power after strong winds caused trees to fall on power lines.

Cleanup and recovery efforts would be made a lot easier if we had some better weather in the forecast the next few days. The bad news is that more rain and storms are expected across eastern portions of Europe today into early Wednesday as a strong low pressure system lifts northward and brings periods of heavy rain and gusty winds to southern Poland, northern Slovakia, and western Czech Republic. Rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches are likely for those areas, though some isolated higher amounts are possible, especially across southern Poland. Rainfall of this intensity will lead to a continued increased risk of flash flooding. Also, winds of 25-40 mph with gusts in excess of 50 mph will be possible across parts of the northern Balkan Peninsula into Austria and Slovakia. Conditions will ease throughout the day today with a slight chance of rain tomorrow mainly for southern Poland.

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