Five years ago…

Do you remember the summer of 2002? I usually don’t remember any dates. However, this particular summer I remember quite well. Actually, everybody in Prague remembers it. It has been five years already but it still feels live. In August 2002, the Czech Republic was struck by the biggest flood in its history. They called it a 1,000-year flood and its results can be seen till today.

Floods in Prague Five years ago. That’s a history you may say. But I remember very well how I felt just as if it happened yesterday. I was awakened by sirens. I panicked since it wasn’t the first Wednesday of a month and it wasn’t noon. You can’t imagine the horror of mine! I immediately felt so powerless. Flood was coming to Prague…

We knew what was coming for some days. It had been raining heavily for quite a time. Other cities in the Czech Republic were having serious problems already. But flood in Prague?

People were being evacuated, leaving their homes in a hurry because nobody really expected this would go so far. We just didn’t want to believe the news and the weather forecast. But then the nightmare had turned into reality and the terrible question appeared: What about the Charles Bridge? Will it survive? And what about the historical parts of Prague?

Hurriedly, mobile walls were erected on the right bank of Vltava River, protecting the precious Old Town. No protection, however, was built on the left bank of the Vltava River, leaving the beautiful Lesser Town of Prague and Kampa Island on its own. Prague inhabitants as well as tourists were holding their breaths. It was like in some catastrophic movie from Hollywood. Except for the fact that this was too damn real.

Untypical image of Prague... Prague's floods The traffic network in Prague was near collapse for many weeks since Prague underground was damaged as well.

The most severely hit parts of Prague turned out to be the Prague district Karlin and Prague Zoo. In Karlin, there is still a hole after one collapsed building. Yes, even five years after the terrible floods. It is right opposite the subway station Florenc (yellow line B and green red line C), trams 8 and 24.

Prague Zoo experienced not only material losses due to the floods, but had also lost hundreds of animals.

Maybe thanks to the eggs added to the mortar, as the legend says, the Charles Bridge has survived. Nevertheless, in order to survive more, a huge reconstruction of the Charles Bridge is now in progress.

© 2008 |