It seems spring has, at last, come to Ukraine: on weekend it got warm fast in many regions of the country, sometimes up to +19 degrees, and there was only a trace of winter landscapes left in the form of puddles. However, not all are happy with such expected yet sudden change of weather - for some regions, the thaw can become a challenge, and sometimes almost a natural disaster.
The thing is, in such periods the danger of the groundwater level rise on many rivers is higher than normal, as well as the danger of water outflow to the floodplain in some parts. Therefore, residents of a number of regions often suffer from flooding of household plots, basements, and sometimes the entire villages or towns.
The critical advance of melt-water
The situation is most critical in Okhtyrka of Sumy region. Because of the outflow of melt-water from the dam, part of Okhtyrka in Sumy region turned into second Venice, but without its inherent romance: hundreds of homes had to be de-energized and disconnected from gas supply, and their residents were urgently evacuated.
According to Okhtyrka city council, the evacuation of residents started at night around midnight.
People were on the alert, - water has risen for almost a meter, houses and household facilities were flooded.
All of that is the result of melt-waters breaking self-made locks of the hydraulic structure in Verbove village.
Different services, doctors and law enforcement officers were immediately alerted to liquidate the consequences caused by the raging nature and provide assistance to the population.
In the morning, Emergency Service announced sad statistics: 400 Okhtyrka households were flooded, as well as 25 residential houses on 11 streets of the city.
As of 18:00, according to the service, the water level on the flooded streets has lowered to 23 cm, but nine houses were left flooded.
It is noteworthy that a number of flooded households is not mentioned, although as of 15:00 there were more than 350 of such.
Sixty-five people were evacuated by the services involved. Fifteen of them were temporarily accommodated in local hotels, four elderly people were hospitalized in the Okhtyrka central regional hospital, and the rest of people stopped at their relatives’ houses.
The traffic in the city was restricted, sometimes along with the ability to walk.
As sumy.today reported, at the time of liquidation of flood consequences, employees of Sumyoblenergo PJSC disconnected 10 transformer substations in the district centre, located in the coastal zones of the rivers. This way, 968 household consumers of electricity – Okhtyrka residents - were temporarily left without electricity.
In addition, in order to prevent the infliction of an electric shock, specialists of the Okhtyrka RES branch inspect electrical equipment that can be flooded and damaged due to flooding, and, if necessary, de-energize it.
Also, the brigades of emergency dispatch service Sumygaz were called in to help eliminate the consequences of the flooding. Starting from 5 am, they partially blocked the gas distribution to the Okhtyrka consumers to prevent emergencies and possible accidents on gas networks.
Later, the duty officers were stationed in places of high a risk of damaging the gas pipelines, and in the part of city where the water level decreased, the gas networks are being inspected.
The local department the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection in Sumy region supposes that flooding could contaminate the drinking water of city with pathogens of infectious diseases (viral hepatitis A, dysentery, enteroviruses and other acute intestinal infections). Thus, the service advises population to follow simple rules: to boil drinking water or take bottled water for drinking; to not consume food that has been flooded or contaminated with melt-water; to not ignore personal hygiene before eating, after going to the toilet and the like.
Chernihiv regions is flooded the same as Sumy region. Particularly, almost a hundred of the household suffered in regional center as for today. The personnel of the State Emergency Service rescued seven people.
The villages and cities of Odesa, Rivne, Kyiv, Lviv, Zakarpattia, Poltava and Volyn regions are close to the flooding.
According to Emergency Service, the water level is 161 cm in Vylkove village (Odesa region), Danube River (the decrease in 24 cm per day). There are still 24 cm until the mark of the housing sector flooding (185 cm).
The water level surpasses the mark of the water present to the floodplain in 47 cm on Horyn River, Dubrovytsia town, Rivne region (113 cm left for the flooding of the housing sector).
On Pripyat River, exclusion zone in Kyiv region, the water level surpasses the mark of the water present to the floodplain in 144 cm (166 cm left for the flooding of the housing sector).
In Kamianka-Buzka city, Lviv region, on Bug River, the water level surpasses the mark of the water present to the floodplain in 4 cm (126 cm left for the flooding of the housing sector).
On Latorica River, in Mukacheve city, Zakarpattia region, the water level surpasses the mark of the water present to the floodplain in 14 cm (246 cm left for the flooding of the housing sector).
In Lubny city, Poltava region, on Sula River, the water level surpasses the mark of the water present to the floodplain in 7 cm (333 cm left for the flooding of the housing sector).
On Prypyat and Stokhid Rivers, Lyubeshiv district in Volyn region on the square of about 1030 hectares (without a risk of the flooding of the housing sector).
The next few days are going to be a test for these regions. According to the forecast by the Ukrainian Weather Service, the spring flooding will continue building up between 3 and 6 April.