Wednesday, 17 October 2012

And then it rained

Last night's rain will become legendary; it was the rain that prevented Poland from playing England in the World Cup qualifying match at the National Stadium. Yes, there's a sliding roof, but it, er... doesn't work when it's raining. It's been a very dry summer and a dry start to autumn, but last night it poured.

Below: rain spills out from guttering at W-wa Ochota station, it's quarter past eight and the match is due to start or not. "The weather is something beyond everyone's control" states Roy Hodgson, England manager, in the tradition of football truism.

The match is called off, it continues raining, I wade home from W-wa Jeziorki station.

The morning. Ul. Taneczna, near Poleczki (below). Submerged from edge to edge. Pavements under water too. The risk of flooding one's engine is high, so drivers are moving through the water at less than walking pace.

Polish streets - even recently built ones - don't have storm drains and kerbside guttering the way British ones have. So when the rain really comes down - disaster. Below: looking towards Poleczki. Notice the way all the cars are hugging the left side of the road - British style!

Onwards, toward the city centre via the airport. On the 148 bus, at ul. Wirażowa; it already gone 11am. The flood water has subsided somewhat, but a few hours ago, there was complete traffic chaos at this junction, a major thoroughfare between south-west and southern Warsaw.

When ul. Wirażowa was rebuilt as a dual carriageway a few years ago, there was a massive flood water retention reservoir built to drain off this type of deluge. This reservoir was built... in the path of where the S79 was planned to go (why this happened no one knows). The S79 has been under construction for three years, and one of the last obstacles in its way was the flood-water retention reservoir. Which a few months ago was filled in and tarmacked over. So now - where does the flood water go? It stays on the road surface (below).

Fortunately, today proved sunny and warm (14C), and by the evening, most of the water had evaporated or soaked into the parched earth. During a really wet spell, Warsaw may not be so fortunate.

This time two years ago:
The autumn sublime in Warsaw

This time four years ago:
Lublin and its charm


adthelad said...

Can't help myself from posting this in response - I know I've copied it to you before, but it won't hurt to do it again :)

Eric Szvoboda said...

Wow thats an incredible storm! Thanks for posting the pictures!

AndrzejK said...

It's not just Polisg roads which have a problem. The A41 between Denham and Chalfont St Peter as well as a number of side roads around the Chalfont's flood on a regular basis to the extent that Bucks council keeps flood wring signs on stand by! No sign of any work being done!

Soggymundo said...

Ulica Francuska, the main road in Saska Kępa - the district of Warsaw in which the National Stadium actually sits - has undergone a major overhaul over the past two years. There are now excellent storm drains, and the section of Francuska that used to flood whenever a knat peed on Warsaw was spotlessly dry after that memorable rainstorm of a couple of nights ago. However, you only had to go 2 metres off Francuska to find huge standing puddles on the side roads.