Friday 21st September 2007 turned out to be a very memorable day for everyone here in the Granada Region!!
We started the day with a thunder storm at 6am which lasted for a couple of hours and then cleared – we headed off inland to do our satellite work and all went well – the weather cleared there and we were able to do the job. However on the way back it started raining again and by the time we reached Granada it was pouring down – we got onto the highway to head home and then it really came down – so bad that the banks at the sides of the road were being washed away and the drains couldn’t cope – parts of the road were waterlogged and we had to drive very carefully. We pulled off the highway and headed down to the reservoir to carry on up to Pinos and there were floods everywhere – there was water gushing across the road as we drove up and the banks were being washed down with it and stones and boulders too. We managed to get home in one piece but the whole village was a mess – mud, stones, debris every where. We entered our house to find the ground floor covered in water (luckily it didn’t get into the lounge) and water on the landing. It was pouring in from the light well, coming down the chimney in the back room and the internal patio was flooded too (and that’s partly covered by a roof!). The rain had forced it’s way into the new bit too and had come down some of the walls from the terrace. When we went up to the terrace we saw why – there were massive hailstones and ALL my plants were destroyed – looks like a strimmer had been at them. The leaves were blocking the drainage and water had backed up everywhere. We spent a good couple of hours mopping up and thank goodness for the tiled floors. The rain had even forced it’s way into the top covered Azotea with the tin roof so we had a little damp in the bedrooms but thankfully not much. It wasn’t just us affected – the lower barrio in our village came off worse with 2 foot of mud down there and many people had this washed into their homes. The whole valley has been affected and the crops of olive, almonds, grapes, oranges etc have all been damaged and many farmers are having to submit forms now to claim financial support. Padul (one of towns up the road from us) was badly affected when the river there burst it’s banks and a guy from the UK had his brand new 4×4 washed away and written off with the force of the flood water.
Once the rains stopped the big clean up operation began to clear mud from the roads in and around the villages and it’s taken a few weeks to get back to some sort of normality. The coast got the worst of the storm (some even reported it as a mini tornado) and Almunecar was so badly hit that it has officially been declared a disaster zone – cars washed away – bridges damaged and someone was killed when a garage wall fell on them. The EU have put forward 70 million Euros to help with the clear up and rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure to the region. The reports in the press said that approximately 300 litres of rain fell in just a few short hours. Many say it was the worst rain they have experienced in many years (one local said she was a little girl the last time she remembers that sort of rain and she is now well into retirement). If you click on the Olive Press link on the right of the page they should have more about the storms.
We have now resealed the old light well and painted waterproof paint on the old terrace area which let a lot of water in. Under normal circumstances I think we’d have been OK but the rain & hail came down with such force that it devastated everything. Thankfully peace and calm has returned now and for the last few weeks the sun has been out and everything has dried out. At least we’ve been able to carry on with the building work inside the house.
Adios for now