Floods at Bulgaria’s coast: Roads update

The construction of a temporary facility near Tsarevo will begin today, through which traffic will be redirected from the destroyed bridge on the Tsarevo – Varvara second-class road, Desislava Paunova of the Road Infrastructure Agency told Bulgarian National Television on September 6.

This follows the flooding that hit Bulgaria’s southern Black Sea coast on September 5, leaving at least two people dead and causing widespread damage in the area’s towns and resorts.

The Tsarevo – Sinemorets road remains closed to traffic due to the damaged bridge at the end of the town of Tsarevo in the direction of Sinemorets, according to a statement on the Road Infrastructure Agency website. Paunova said that the damaged facility is to be inspected today.

Another section where traffic is restricted is at the beginning of Sinemorets, as a section of the Sinemorets – Rezovo road is flooded.

Paunova said that the water there is starting to drain, and at the moment it is 50cm above the roadway, which is much less than yesterday. The water is expected to recede in the afternoon.

Regarding the temporary bridge that will be built near Tsarevo, Paunova said that it is a metal pontoon bridge that will be assembled on site and will remain until the construction of a new bridge. Traffic will pass over it and the movement of trucks over 12 tons will be restricted.

The pontoon bridge will be delivered in the afternoon and installation will begin.

Paunova said that for the construction of the new facility, a public tender will be launched soon, and the new bridge will be sized for the large amounts of water that passed under the affected bridge yesterday.

The situation on the national roads in the Bourgas region has normalised, Mitko Poryazov, director of the Regional Road Administration Bourgas, told BTV.

He said that emergency groups were formed yesterday, which cleaned and took steps so that water drained faster from the critical sections near the overflowing rivers. Today, the sediments on the roadway of the drained sections will be cleaned.

A bypass route has been created for crossing from Tsarevo in the direction of Ahtopol past the Thrace University – Vasiliko district and through the intersection to the village of Brodilovo along the main road, as well as in the opposite direction.

Poryazov said that today the sections that were flooded and under water yesterday, as well as the facility over the Karaagach River on the Sozopol – Tsarevo road, will be surveyed. He said that the landslide near the village of Izgrev has been cleaned and the road in the area is passable.

Reports on September 6 said that a Border Police vessel and a drone were being used in the bay of Tsarevo to look for the two women who went missing on Tuesday after being swept away while trying to drive over a damaged bridge.

Electricity has been restored in the Strandzha village of Brodilovo, while Ahtopol, Sinemorets, Rezovo, as well as the Arapya and Nestinarka campsites remain without electricity.

The situation in the village of Kosti continues to be dire. “We have no streets, everything is totally destroyed, ” mayor Anton Angelov told bTV.

Tsarevo municipality has announced a campaign to recruit volunteers after the floods. In Tsarevo, September 6 is a day of the mourning for the flood victims.

The Bulgarian Red Cross has had teams on the ground since yesterday, 650 food packages have been provided for immediate assistance.

“The delivery of about 10 tons of water is expected. As of last night, there was logistical support for people who sought help at the end of the day. The needs will still be assessed. We are ready to provide camping beds with bedding,” Violeta Radeva of the Bulgarian Red Cross said.

In Plovdiv, the focal point of Bulgaria’s September 6 Unification Day public holiday, the programme of events has been cut back by mayor Zdravko Dimitrov as a sign of sympathy for the victims as a result of the flood along the southern Black Sea coast.

A concert at the Ancient Theatre in Plovdiv, marking Unification Day, has been cancelled, as has the mayor’s reception, though a church service and a formal evening ceremony scheduled to be attended by President Roumen Radev will go ahead.

Environment Minister Julian Popov told Nova Televizia on September 6 that infrastructure in Bulgaria was not adequate to the country’s climate.

“And climate change means a higher risk of extreme events. We can expect more serious and more frequent rainfall in the future,” Popov said.

He said that the consequences of the floods should be analyzed. 

“Until the analysis is complete, I would refrain from blaming any one person or factor for the floods. It is about a complex of factors – a large amount of precipitation, reaction to the warnings, as well as the construction,” he said.

There are technological issues that need to be resolved in order to have a more accurate identification of flood risk, Popov said.

(Photos: Road Infrastructure Agency)

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