Heavy rain floods roads, concern peaks in flood-stricken Mandra

Yet another day of heavy rainfall caused extensive problems throughout Athens and Attica on Wednesday, while several major roads in the city centre and sections of Attica motorways were closed to vehicle traffic in the mid-afternoon.

Traffic on Pireos Street, Hamosternas and Petrou Ralli streets were restored by the evening, police reported, while most lanes had reopened on the Athens-Corinth national highway in both directions. Traffic was also going through as normal on the Attiki Odos motorway, except for the Mandra exit that remained closed. Motorists also faced difficult conditions and heavy traffic between Dafni and the refineries.

Especially severe problems were reported in the west Attica town of Mandra, where several people had been killed in devastating floods some months before, causing concern among local residents to peak as the storm persisted. The central road through the town of Mandra was once again converted into a torrent as rainwater flowed down the slopes of Mount Patera above the town.

With the memory of the floods seven months ago still raw, local residents made sure to remove all obstacles in the water’s path, such as cars and other heavy objects, so that the floodwater and the debris it carried down from the mountain could flow unimpeded into the sea.

The fire brigade responded to hundreds of calls to pump water from flooded basements and provide assistance, while the water was reported to be rising dangerously in roads around Aspropyrgos and Magoula. A force of 80 firemen and 40 vehicles was deployed to deal with the flooding in the area.

Commenting on the problems in Mandra and western Attica as a result of the weather front, the president of the central municipalities union KEDE and mayor of Marousi Giorgos Patoulis aimed strong criticism at the Attica regional authority, noting that the floods and a collapse in the Fyli landfill 10 days earlier “highlighted the inability of its present administration to handle Athens’ major problems”.