Remembering The Flood – 20 Years On

It was approximately this time 20 years ago when incessant torrential rain descended on Lower Silesia, bringing about the worst floods in the history of Wrocław and the surrounding area. 

Not only did the flood wreck people's homes and businesses, but resulted in some areas going without running water for as long as 3 weeks. Infrastructure such as electrical cables and telephone lines was also badly damaged, which meant lengthy repairs were required in many areas across the city.

To get a sense of the scale of the damage, just look at this excerpt from the article In Your Pocket published last year:

Over 162,000 people were evacuated, fifty-five killed and 1,358 towns and villages had been hit over an affected area that spanned 400,000 hectares. In the days that followed huge swathes of Wrocław were only accessible by pontoon or helicopter. In material terms the damage caused topped 5.5 billion złoty, as well as destroying 100,000 cars, 87 railways stations and 56 sewage plants [in the region].

The streets around Renoma and Arkady were all heavily underwater when the flood hit, as can be seen in the video below. 

This video from Onet also includes a map which shows just how much of the city was affected by the flood. Naturally almost all the areas by the river were badly affected, but even some areas distant from the river ended up being submerged too. 

One of Wrocław's tourist attractions is of course the statue on the University bridge. The monument pays tribute to all the volunteers who raced to the University in order help save the books stored in the library from the incoming flood waters.

© dolny-slask.org.pl

For more information on the flood of 1997, as well as the much less damaging flood of 2010, check out this article on the starflood.eu website.

About Gregor Gowans

Gregor Gowans
The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.