Water 2005

Water 2005 drill has begun

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City of Prague - News Release

Prague City Hall - Public Relations Department

Water 2005 drill has begun

Tonight, Pavel Bém, Mayor of the City of Prague, personally checked the course of Water 2005 drill. The drill began on Friday at 19.30 and from 21.00 on, more than 500 individuals commenced to build flood barriers in Prague flood-prone areas on both Vltava river banks. Till summer 2006, the city of Prague will invest over CZK 2 billion into flood facilities; this year, installation of the complete Prague flood protection will be completed, with the exception of Zbraslav, Radotín, Chuchle and Troja. At the same time, the drill will test in detail the functioning and co-ordination of all crisis management bodies of the Czech metropolis.

Mayor Bém walked through most of the zones without escort; before 1 am, he visited Kampa, inspected Čertovka canal closure and continued towards Švábky and Na Františku.

During the night, setup of flood-protection walls continued in line with the operational plan.

·    Between 21,30 - 22,00 (as the trucks were arriving), building up was started in the following zones: Four Seasons, Smetana embankment, Masaryk embankment, Na Františku embankment, Hergetova cihelna - park, Q 50, Pobřežní cesta underpass, Smíchov next to railway bridge, Štefánik bridge - Negrelli elevated track.

·    22.10 – Trucks with material arrived to all construction sites on both river sides.

·    24.00 – Čertovka canal closed, mobile walls assembly started.

·    0.05 – Construction of zone no. 12 - Four Seasons completed at 23:57.

·    0.27 – bag of water setup in Švábky completed

·    01.26 – Construction of 3 sections completed, the drill manager gave order to disassembly the bag of water in Švábky

·    01.38 – Divadelní street, Masaryk embankment. (Žofín) sector completed  

Information available so far indicates that work in all sectors is proceeding without complications.

According to Ludvík Klema, Metropolitan police deputy director, transportation of containers with mobile barrier walls parts took place according to the plan. Metropolitan Police, which escorted the trucks carrying containers, did not record any problems on routes from warehouses leading from Prague outskirts (Hostivař and Dubeč). “The drivers respected the transportation, did not complicate the traffic whatsoever, we did not have to tow away any vehicle from the areas where the flood-protection walls were installed. It was only necessary to reinforce patrols in closed communications areas in order to show the drivers the way.”  

Information on mobile flood-protection walls installed in the framework of Water 2005 drill

  •    Eko-systém s.r.o. is the manufacturer of flood-protection elements used by City of Prague as mobile flood protection. The stop-log system was patented in Germany where it has been in use for more than 15 years. In 1997, Eko-systém s.r.o. obtained production rights as the only Czech company and in 1998, it introduced the system on the local market. After 2002, more suppliers started to offer mobile barriers, but Eko-systém remains the biggest supplier.
  •    Besides Prague, this protection system is used in Slovakia and Austria. In the Czech Republic, the system is made use of in towns and cities such as Písek, Židlochovice, Roztoky u Prahy, Libčice, Hranice na Moravě, Moravský Písek etc. – overall, about 50 localities. Abroad, the biggest protection has been installed in Banská Bystrica with ten localities. Before employing it in Prague during the floods, it proved useful in the course of floods in Köln am Rhein, Germany, or in Kremnitz in Austria.
  •     Simple and quick installation represents major advantage of the mobile walls. Stainless armatures are permanently installed on flood-risk banks. Mobile columns, or sluice pillars, are galvanized steel weldments. Steel weldments are also used as sluice pillars supports. Stop logs are made of aluminium alloy. Protective elements are subsequently mounted on these stop logs. Individual parts dimensions are adjusted to the flood-protection needs. Most often, 2.5 - 3-meter long stop logs are used. The flood-protection height ranges from 20 cm to six meters. The sluice pillars weight is influenced by their height. Up to 2.5 m, the weight does not exceed 80 kg and no mechanisation is needed for their assembly. Higher sluice pillars assembly does require hoisting devices. Most useful tool for such purposes is hydraulic arm placed on the truck that transports the sluice pillars to the assembly site. Stop logs 3 m long weigh 21 kg and their installation is done manually. A fork lift truck may be used for unloading from container or truck that is used to deliver individual stop log batches from the truck directly to the installation site. Stop logs and sluice pillars bear rubber sealing. 50/215 or 90/165 profile stop logs are superposed and inter-lockable using the "spring - groove" system. Following the assembly, individual stop logs are fastened together and attached to sealing thresholds using fastening rods. When installed properly, 100% tightness is assured.
  •     The highest barrier installed so far In Prague is in Stromovka. It is 5.5 metres high and is composed of 8 fields, the distance between sluice pillars being 2 m, every field containing 33 installed stop logs. According to available information, this actually is the highest barrier of its kind in Europe.
  •     One field 3 metres high can be built in 5 minutes. Prior to that, preparation for sluice pillars and supports installation is needed. A wall 100 metres long and 2.5 - 3 metres high can by completely built by ten persons within two hours.
  •     The barrier can only be set up where there the foundations have been already built. They consist of anchoring plates for sluice pillars attachment, sealing thresholds and possibly also connected side guidance in panels and fixed walls. Everything is anchored into concrete foundations that create underground walls against groundwater leakage. Bottom walls are 2 to 3 times deeper than the mobile parts on the surface.
  •     An essential part of the barrier is built manually, without any mechanisation or machines. For bigger barriers, trucks equipped with hydraulic arm as well as fork-lift trucks are to be used, and in the instance of barriers higher than 3 metres, high-lift platforms should be employed. Yet another chapter represents the transportation of mobile elements by vehicles from warehouses to embankments. For instance, barrier components for Lesser Town from Legions bridge via Kampa, Čertovka canal, Hergetova cihelna towards Mánes bridge represent approx. 175 tons of material!
  •     The possibility of the barrier gradual elevation is a clear advantage. In the event of a sudden and unexpected high-flood-water wave hit, sluice pillars and stop logs lower levels may be gradually fitted and subsequently raised even in the course of the flood. The stop logs are hollow, full of water, which makes them heavier. A rule applies that the higher the level, the greater the tightness! In real conditions, an option has also been tested to raise the barrier by sandbags if the water level threatens to exceed the barrier height. Simple and easy assembly makes it possible for the barrier to be built by volunteers who wish to help, under supervision of a trained person. Prior to the drill, at least 80% of non-professional fire fighters taking part in the drill have not seen the flood-protection barrier elements at all!

Drill schedule

Friday 22 July
19.30    drill launch

21.00    start of flood-protection facilities built-up in individual sectors

23.00    closing of flood-gate on Čertovka canal 

Saturday 23 July

9.00-12.00    check of flood-protection facilities build-up

12.00  ceremonious handover of the construction to the Mayor on Hamburg steamboat

12.00-18.00  demonstration of flood-protection measures

18.00     start of disassembly work

Sunday 24 July

12.00    end the drill

    Press tent at Kampa set up in the park opposite Werich villa.

In Prague, 23 July 2005

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