Local sources combine to alleviate flooding in Oliva

OLIVA: Local riverbeds and streams are prone to flooding.

OLIVA approved a flood prevention scheme to protect the town during periods of torrential rain.

The municipality has been flooded 26 times between 1972 and 2014 and the 817 millimetres of rain that fell on November 3, 1987 set a record for the Iberian Peninsula.

The temporarily cut-off town was without electricity and 200 people had to be evacuated from their homes. Properties, personal belongings and local agriculture were badly affected and Oliva Town Hall intends to prevent a repetition.

The municipality will finally have a strategy that combines human and material resources to coordinate the response of different administrations when faced with flooding, said Oliva’s mayor David Gonzalez.

The recently-approved measures include clearing, cleaning and maintaining local riverbeds and streams. The town hall will restore and take over, if necessary, the Rio Alcoy’s network of irrigation channels to assist in draining off floodwater.

In the past the town’s response was based on the municipality’s Territorial Emergencies Plan dating from 1994 and which had now proved to be obsolete, Gonzalez said.

Damming the River Gallinera upstream would solve all Oliva’s problems, but work stalled in 2011 and the project is enmeshed in the Acuamed corruption scandal.

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