Cleaning up after the rain

Following the torrential downpours of the weekend of the 17th and 18th December, the mayor of Torrevieja, José Manuel Dolón, held a press conference with the councillor for safety, Javier Manzanares, to thank all those services and individuals who contributed to addressing the crisis. He also thanked the town’s people who responded well to advice.

The town council had taken the decision to close the schools in order to avoid possible disruption or injury with streets full of water, fallen branches and trees, roads closed and limited access to the town centre. Other disruption was caused due to the flooding of the beaches and the washing away of sand.

Councillor Manzanares thanked the local police and the efforts of the civil protection volunteers who had thirty people available for 72 hours and who were responsible for pumping out excess water, moving items blown out into the street and clearing channels to ensure that water could be released more quickly.

Councillor Manzanares confirmed that all roads were open from the 19th December and the nine people who were evacuated from their four properties on calle Urbano Arregui and Ramón Ruibal and moved to a hotel were back in their own homes.

Over the course of the weekend the Guardia Civil assisted with the evacuation of houses, attended the site of three collapsed structures, rescued five people who were trapped in two vehicles and attended a fire caused by a short circuit. Fire engines were called out to attend to 43 incidents on roads and property.

Manzanares added that everyone responded; ‘well and in a coordinated manner. We have learnt a lot.’ The weekend of flooding also drew attention to the lack of suitability of the proposed site of Villa Amalia for Amanecer school as the area experienced a lot of flooding. ‘We have to take into account that the area is below ground level,’ explained councillor Manzanares, who added that the site would also be affected by any increase in width of the N332.

The council in Torrevieja also met with Agamed to discuss the problems that occurred and how they might be avoided another time. Altogether a total of 150 litres of rain was registered and Agamed were praised for the situation in Torrevieja not having led to more disruption and destruction. The areas worst affected included la avenida Cortes Valencianas and the Torreta Florida area where a pump was broken. The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss the water company’s working practices.

Suzanne O’Connell