Submerged campaigns, motorists trapped in mud, a flooded polling station and in Ischia c‘it was even those who went to work crossing the streets by canoe, practically flooded. Autumn has now arrived throughout the country and the rains have hit above all central Italy, with bad weather now pointing more and more south: for the next few hours, the Civil Protection has issued a warning with red alert in Basilicata and orange on part of Calabria, in Molise, Puglia and Campania.
In the last 24 hours, the most affected regions have been Campania and Tuscany. In the latter, thunderstorms and above-average rainfall – especially in the Val di Cecina and Val di Merse, in the provinces of Pisa, Livorno and Siena – have suddenly raised the level of rivers and minor streams. In Monterotondo Marittimo (Grosseto) 170 mm of rain fell in less than three hours: data that had not been recorded for over 50 years. The wave also transformed the Arno river overnight, which in its crossing a Florence it has increased the flow of water in a few hours, from a modest narrow stream in the middle of the riverbed, to a real river that spread out in its width from one bank to the other. The new face of the Arno, after months of drought, was observed with a certain complacency by the Florentines and also by tourists from the banks of the Arno, especially near the weirs. The river Cecina instead overflowed (an unusual event in September) in the floodplain, between Saline di Volterra and Ponteginori (Pisa), flooding the fields.
In the region, the firefighters have also rescued people who were left with their cars trapped in the mud due to the flooding of minor streams in the Sienese area, in Montaperti. In Santa Maria alla Rassinata, near Arezzo, a polling station was flooded by water infiltrations and was transferred to another place, complete with a shuttle service for the transport of voters organized by the Municipality.
There Campania will remain on orange alert for the second consecutive day, also supported by the interventions of the Civil Protection. In Naples – where is it schools will be closed in the next few hours for the whole day (even those that are not polling stations) – the Riviera di Chiaia was invaded by rainwater and so many other areas from the center to the periphery. Heavy storms have turned streets and sidewalks into streams, with problems even in the Sanità district. The Circumflegrea railway, which connects the capital with some municipalities in the hinterland, was also suspended due to flooding. In nearby Pomigliano d’Arco about ten people were stuck in their cars overwhelmed by a river of water in some streets of the town, rescued by the traffic police and volunteers. The mayor explained that they fell about 400 liters of water per square meter, the largest water bomb ever detected in that area. Damage also to Caserta (here it was ordered that the schools remain closed for two days), where the tunnel of the state road “della Reggia” was closed.
In Ischia the main course of the island was crossed by canoe, due to the flooding of several sections of the road that also leads to the prestigious hotel in the center. In some places the rainwater was not disposed of, so much so that it reached forty centimeters in some places. This is why the owner of a shop on Corso Rizzoli wanted to express his disappointment by traveling a long stretch of the road with a kayak, then posting photos and videos on social media.
Flooded street in Ischia, shopkeeper in a canoe in protest
Some landslides were also recorded on the Lazio coast, in a stretch of the promenade in Sabaudia, a beach frequented by VIPs in the summer. The storm caused the collapse of a containment shoulder of the bridge at the mouth of Caprolace, causing its closure. Discomfort also in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
With the arrival of severe thunderstorms on dry soils, which if they are unable to absorb the water they suffer flooding but also landslides and landslides, Coldiretti raises the alarm and explains: hail is the most feared in this seasonal phase for damage irreversible effects that it causes to the fruit and vegetable crops in the fields, to the harvest in full swing and to the olive trees where the harvest is about to begin. In areas hit by bad weather, even the autumn sowing of barley, oats and wheat in the land where waste of all kinds has been piled up and open chasms that are impracticable even for tractors are at risk, Coldiretti reports.