Lignano reports land submerged: The worst flood since 1966

Year after year, so it seems, the autumn storms bring the water into the marinas of Lignano on the Adriatic coast in northern Italy. Here, people have got used by now the this autumnal natural phenomenon, so any serious damages could be avoided so far. However, this was not the case  during the night of the 12th to the 13th November 2019, when the violent storms of a powerful depression caused a flooding of the marinas and the full scale of the damages has not even been listed yet.

Nevertheless, it is a fact that the offices along the Cantieri di Aprilia were flooded half a metre, cars parked in the harbour area were affected as well as yachts stored ashore. ”This was the worst flood since 1966‟, a marina employee told SeaHelp.

Marineros worked tirelessly during the night in order to extend mooring lines. Even the town of Lignano was not spared from the bad weather: flooded streets and basements and forced up manhole covers – technical emergency services and the fire brigade were almost in constant operation. An active depression, autumn storms and a full moon – this critical weather situation has caused a flood that had not occurred within the last 50 years, according to the locals.

Italy - Lignano High Water Bridge
Flooding in the marinas of Lignano with SeaHelp rescue boat

Now, why precisely at full moon? To put it simple: It is a well-known fact that the gravitation of the moon is responsible for the tides on earth. Its mass remains unchangeable, though. At full moon, the sun and the moon are in a line in relation to the earth, i.e., we have to add the gravitation of the sun to the gravitation of the moon and augment it by still another 46%, approximately. And in case of any additional winds blowing in from sea to land, the flood will be enhanced even more.

In addition to this phenomenon, further heavy rainfalls are expected in the area of the northern Adriatic Sea, partly even down to the southern tip of Istria. Some meteorologists are expecting up to 300 litres of rain per square metre locally, others are just assuming light showers. The difficulty of a precise forecast is mainly due to the fact that, owing to the current weather conditions, we are dealing with constantly changing winds in the northern part of the Adriatic.

Italy - Lignano flood SeaHelp rescue boat
Still no clarity regarding the extent of the damages on Wednesday morning.

Update 14-11-2019:
After the flood there comes the big cleaning up. Fortunately, the weather gods were in a friendly mood and allowed the affected shop owners of the Cantieri di Aprilia a few sunny moments to speed up the drying of the damaged inventory. Electricity was back only at 9.30 p.m., though.

Nevertheless, no data are yet available regarding the exact level of the damages caused. But, as is already apparant, most owners seem to have escaped with just a black eye, not least thanks to the tireless efforts of the Marineros during the night of the flood.

Italy - Lignano flood update: 14.11.2019
The Inventory is drying in the sun – but most of it has to be thrown away.

Update 15.11.2019:
But the danger does not seem to have been entirely averted yet. On Friday, November 15, 2019, at around 11.00 a.m. (photo), at high tides, the water started rising again in quite a threatening way flooding the parking lots. Many owners of apartments or houses in this complex have already arrived there and they are trying to repair the damages caused as good as they can.

And now, as electricity is available again, the pumps can be started.

Italy - Lignano flood update: 15.11.2019
Lignano, floodwaters: Together with the high tide the floodwaters are coming back again.

Update 17.11.2019:
Storm tide in Lignano – second take! On November 17, 2019, at 11 o’clock in the morning, the second wave of the storm tide arrived. The normal hightide was accompanied by heavy rains, sometimeseven by thunderstorms and, again, landward winds. However, compared with the night of the storm from the 12th to the 13th of November, the water level stayed just below  the record high at that time. The sailing boat on the photo had teared off its mooring and is now floating in front of the SeaHelp office in the Marina. In this case, the emergency personnel can probably walk to the site of rescue…

Italy - Lignano flood update: 17.11.2019
Marinas in Lignano on 17-11-2019 at 11.00 a.m. – the second flood.
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