Water 2005

WATER 2005 – Prague tests out its flood control facilities

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City of Prague - News Release

Prague City Hall - Public Relations Department

WATER 2005 – Prague tests out its flood control facilities

All the flood control facilities that Prague has constructed since the catastrophic floods of 2002, will be erected and tested this weekend in real time and life conditions. The tactical exercise, which is being organised by the Prague City Hall with the support of the relevant sections of municipal security system, will commence on Friday, 22 July at 7.30 pm.

The tactical exercise is meant to verify the time demands of the erection and putting into service of all the flood control facilities so that a realistic model may be created according to which, in case of the city being threatened by a flood, the respective components of the Safety and Security system will operate.

“By the summer of 2006 the City of Prague will have invested over CZK 2 billion into the flood control measures. Without a realistic testing out of the entire system, which is logistically and organisationally extremely demanding, it would not be possible to estimate how long the execution would take and what problems the installation of mobile barriers might entail“, explains the capital’s Mayor, Pavel Bém. “I do believe that Praguers will appreciate the desire of the city to protect their property against a possible natural catastrophy, and that any inconveniences resulting from the whole undertaking will be met with their understanding“, he adds.

“Prague is finishing the flood protection measures for the city and with the exception of Zbraslav, Radotín, Chuchle and Troja everything will be done this year. The extent of mobile logging and other facilities is much greater than it was during the flood of 2002. However, Mother Nature knows no mercy. A major flood may be distinguished as such at the earliest 48 hours prior to its hitting Prague. That is the time limit that must be met during the installation and putting into service of the entire flood protection system of the capital. That is why this exercise, which will test the ability of all the components of the crisis management of the city, is so very important. Therefore I hope, that Prague citizens and visitors alike will comprehend the traffic limits imposed in the vicinity of the river“, says Jan Bürgemeister, the Deputy Mayor.

The deputy Petr Hulinský adds: “No flood control measures will be able to prevent some local damage, however, a well thought out system of city protection against floods can either eliminate most of the damage or at least can ensure that the consequences will not be nearly as catastrophic as in 2002. The building of flood control facilities is, of course, financially demanding, the costs are in the order of billions of crowns, however, compared to the potential consequences of floods, these are wise and prudent expenditures“.

Flood control measures for protection of the City of Prague

When early in 1997, Prague decided to undertake the building of a system of flood protection of the city, it was a follow up on years of contemplation, research, theoretical studies, building of partial protection facilities and a range of undertakings carried out in 1990 by certain hydrologists for the  centenary of the 1890 flood in Prague. Based on experiences with severe floods abroad, it was decided to make use of the mobile log system. This system, which does not appreciably affect the visual aspect of the city, in particular its historic part, will prevent property damage from occurring, including to cultural treasures. The mobile barriers will be used especially in the historic centre of the city, in the periphery areas of the city use will be made of more permanent features, such as walls, dykes, etc., in combination with mobile logging systems there, where roadway intersections may occur. Originally, the flood protection system design was made for a maximum flood flow of QN = 4030 m3 s-1 corresponding to the catastrophic flood of 1890. Recently, the flood protection system design was updated  to a recalculated maximum water level corresponding to the 2002 levels, increased by a safety margin of another 30 cm. The flow during the flood of August 2002 was equal to ca. 5250 m3 s-1.

The years of 1999 - 2000 saw the execution of the phase of Old Town and Josefov. The scope of this work included the building of mobile flood control barriers, as well as of certain sewer network measures within sections of the right embankment between the Jirásek and Štefánik bridges, which proved to be effective during the flood of August 2002 and helped to avert damage to the Old Town district.

The phase of Malá Strana and Kampa was subdivided into four basic parts. In 2002, the work within the section of Herget’s brickworks was done by reconstructing the wall; in 2003, the section of Herget’s brickworks was done– Kosárek embankment. Two more parts: Říční street – Charles bridge and Čertovka, were started towards the end of 2003. At the end of 2003, work also started on the phases of Karlín and Libeň, Štefánik bridge – Negrelli viaduct, Holešovice – Stromovka, Cpt. Jaroš embankment, Stromovka and Výtoň, Podolí and Smíchov.

In 2004, within the scope of the flood protection works of Rohanský island and the complex of MFF UK, the provisional protection of Karlín and part 32 – ports of Libeň, a flood control pumping station was built.

In 2005, it is expected that the flood protection works construction for sections started in the preceding years will be completed; with the civil works having been done in 2004, it is only a question of supplying and installing the mobile parts in order that an installation test may be performed so that these sections may be presented to the public.

Duringthe course of 2005, the remaining parts of the phase of Holešovice – Stromovka, Cpt. Jaroš embankment, Stromovka and Bubeneč embankment, will also be finished, as will the phases of Výtoň, Podolí, Smíchov and the phase of Karlín and Libeň, Rohanský island and the complex of MFF UK, site works and top soil removal, the provisional protection of Karlín (purchase of pumping equipment), ports of Libeň – flood control pumping station and a part of ports of Libeň – flood control isolation. Concurrently, the execution of other parts of the flood protection works was started, for which certain savings measures were negotiated and designed towards the end of 2004, these concern mostly the phase of Karlín and Libeň, part of the port of Libeň – territorial protection, the phase of Holešovice – Stromovka, part of Nová Jankovcova, part of the port of Holešovice and Za elektrárnou street and the phase of flood control measures for Modřany, a new flood control protection system around Modřany.

Design work continues on the flood control measures for the remaining parts of the city,  in order that  construction may start and be finished in 2006 at the latest, depending on new evaluations of the design so that economy of cost may be achieved and the work may be financed. This concerns the phase of Zbraslav – Radotín,  Zbraslav, Radotín and  Velká Chuchle. The phase of Troja is being prepared as well, which will be evaluated in 2005 so that it may be ready for start up in 2006.

Timetable of drill exercise

Friday 22 July

7.30 pm        start of drill exercise

9.00 pm    start of erection of flood control facilities in respective sectors

11.00 pm        closure of flood control gates Čertovka

Saturday 23 July

9.00-12.00 am    checking of erected flood control facilities

12.00 noon    ceremony of turning the works over to the Lord Mayor on the boat Hamburg

12.00-6.00 pm    demonstration of flood control facilities

6.00 pm        start of dismantlement

Sunday 24 July

12.00 noon        end of drill exercise

During the entire exercise the press corps will be able to use a Press tent located at Kampa.


An overview of the greatest floods in Prague as recorded by historical sources

Traffic restrictions

Three  years  after  the  “five hundred-year water”

Prague, 20 July 2005

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