Posts Tagged ‘flood’

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It’s raining, again

January 27, 2012

This has been the wettest winter that we’ve seen in Cyprus.  After a relatively mild December the heavens opened and it feels like it hasn’t stopped raining since.  It’s possible that we, living in a house with no internal stairs, feel this a little more than others.

It’s certainly true that our move from the municipality of Aradippou on the coastal plain up to our tiny village in the Troodos foothills has made a huge difference to our local weather.  Summers are cooler and the air is fresher but winters are colder, occasionally seeing snow, and there is significantly more rain.  The only heating in the house is from the open fire in the living room and this winter we’ve been working our way through a significant amount of logs.  Even with the fire burning each evening the temperature in the living room rarely gets about 14° degrees (mid 50sF) and the upstairs which has no heating at all has been below 10° degrees (high 40s F) some evenings.

The rain (and thunderstorms and gale force winds) have been much talked about amongst the expat community.  With each severe weather warning and subsequent torrential rainstorm questions have been raised about how full the dams might be and if it was possible that this year they might overflow again.

Today Asprokremmos dam, the second largest on the island, did for the first time in seven years.

The Cyprus Mail reported:

CONTINUING rainfall caused the Asprokremmos dam, the second largest on the island, to overflow yesterday.  With a capacity of 52.4 million cubic meters, Asprokremmos last filled back in 2004.  Reports said local residents were preparing to fire up their barbeques in celebration.

A Paphos expat was on hand to record the occasion; his video is available here.

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Festival of the Flood

June 14, 2011

This past weekend saw the celebration of Kataklysmos, the Festival of the Flood.

The weather saw fit to contribute which, considering it’s almost half way through June, was fairly unusual.

Photo courtesy of the Cyprus Mail

The Cyprus Mail reported:

TORRENTIAL rain and flooding in Nicosia and Larnaca districts yesterday trapped people in their cars and brought traffic to a standstill as thousands returned home at the end of the three-day, and aptly named, Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood) weekend.

Some of the worst hit areas were many of the villages between Larnaca and Nicosia, including Lympia, Kornos, Pera Horio, Latsia, Alambra, Ayia Varvara, the GSZ area in Larnaca and Aradippou with some of them also experiencing heavy hail storms.

Drivers on the Larnaca-Nicosia highway crawled along at 30km per hour due to heavy traffic jams and visibility problems, with huge amounts of water gathering in some areas such as the Dekhelia road up to the Rizoelia roundabout.

As well as flooding some flights were diverted as the conditions at Larnaca airport were unsafe.

The weather this year continues to be unsettled: winter was long and wet, spring was late coming and saw severe hailstorms and then suddenly the temperatures went into overdrive.  Instead of being unseasonably cool it switched to being unseasonably hot.  That all ended with the storms of yesterday which, according to forecasts, are due to continue for several days to come.

Meanwhile we left home, where it was warm and sunny, to drive towards Larnaca not realising all this was going on.  It would be fair to say that we were ill-prepared for the weather we encountered and got absolutely soaked to the skin.  Such are the microclimates of Cyprus.

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House Rule #1

January 19, 2010

It started raining at around 10am; it stopped for a while just after 10pm.

The yuccas ended up swimming.  A dustbin under the garage hole in the roof filled to 18 inches deep with run-off water over 6 hours.  We finally headed for bed, up the external staircase, at a little after 11pm.

All through this winter’s wet weather we have watched carefully for problems with the roof.  It was one of the few areas where we had to do no work at all;  MadAlex had the a new roof fitted as part of his renovations or improvements.

Much of the other work he had done has had to be re-done.  The plumbing has been a particular challenge: the fresh water supply in the kitchen turned out to be routed from the tank rather than supplied by fresh water, the never-tested water heater would have blown up the first time it was ever turned on.  New plaster failed to hold due to issues with how it was bonded to the walls.  Door don’t fit doorframes; windows aren’t level.

But the roof?  Despite our concerns, based in part on other workmanship, the roof has been just fine.  Which, here in Cyprus, is fairly unusual.  Friends with new houses have problems with their roofs; we had numerous leaks in the Aradippou rental house.  But here, the roof has been good so far.

So, we headed to bed late after a long day of watching the torrential rain and making essential forays into the garden to fetch fresh logs and rescue the gate that had come loose in the wind.  We stopped at the top of the stairs to look at the view up and down the valley and see if the stars were out – they weren’t, more rain was due.  And then we made our way wearily to bed …

… only to find a 40ft² (about 4m²) puddle on the bedroom floor.

To be fair it isn’t quite as bad as it sounds; the room is big and the flooded area was mainly tiles.  Our temporary (until we find someone to build bespoke fitted wardrobes) clothes rails were standing in it, as were a few pairs of shoes and a laundry basket or two.  There’s probably no long term damage but finding enough towels to mop up that amount of water at almost midnight is not to be recommended.

And the roof?  Well, it’s just fine; nothing wrong with it that we know of.  It’s the windows.  Under certain conditions, such as torrential rain from the west, it seems they leak.  Copiously.

So, House Rule #1: When it has rained solidly for 12 hours it is wise to wear wellies to bed.