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Floods of Pamarys region
 

Floods of Pamarys region

Floods of Pamarys region usually starts in spring, when the largest Lithuanian river Nemunas overflows from coast. Flood submerges about 50 km of roads. Spring floods are typical only for this region. Flood in Šilutė region usually submerges about 14 000 hectares of territory. Rarely flood happens in winter or autumn. In spring floods often flood a large part of Pamarys regions meadows. During the spring flood in 2 months 2/5 of Nemunas annual outflow flows in to Curonian Lagoon. Nemunas on the average carries 700m ³ of water, and increases his outflow 12 times.
In most cases, the flood floods Šlažai and Žalgiriai rural surroundings, and fully floods Žalgiriai forest. 2004, held the biggest flood, it submerged a territory of 5000 ha. Overflowing water destroys embankments, floods villages, rips roads, quays, and fills good soil with silt. Every year floods brings a lot of damage. Residents of the flooded areas and government attempts to deal with the water element. Embankments are raised and new ones are poured, banks of the river are strengthened. Before the beginning of the ice-drift in Nemunas lowlands, willing to prevent ice jam, icebreaker is launched. Sometimes people try to dust peat on ice. Aviation aircraft flies above the flooded areas of Šilutė and in their assistance many people were saved from the flood. The other problem is that Nemunas is not deepened.
In most cases, the flood floods Šilutė - Rusnė road. The depth depends from the rainfall that why it is so different every time. When the water on the road reaches 25 cm, the road becomes unusable. Then the cars to Rusnė are transported by a special trawl. In 1997, water depth on the road was 1.4m. It was impossible to reach Rusnė.
During the flood in Nemunas floating ice and overflowing water puts homesteads, birds, swans and gooses in a great danger and the view in Šilutė region is impressive.
When Nemunas water spills widely Rusnė town gets cut off from the rest of the world. Therefore, for those who wish to reach it has to go on a trawl drawn by tractor. Spring floods are a trivial round for local residents. The fact is that this location is 1.5 m above Curonian Lagoon annually suffers from it. During the time of spring floods waters of the Nemunas raises nearly 3 m above sea level. Already in the nineteenth century polders were installed – lowlands drained and separated by banks. However, such natural disaster which floods road, meadows, farmsteads, and flowing ice leaves an inerasable memories for people who haven’t seen anything like it. First bank that was ever made in Nemunas lowlands was built in 1840 in Rusnė, and the first water pump station was built in Uostadvaris in 1907. Nemunas Delta Regional Park owns 21 polders, but generally what keeps people from flood is polderic system with 39 pump-houses.
Floods are a common phenomenon for Pamarys region and now it is not only a bad phenomenon for local residents. People gladly agree to share this natural misfortune, with others who only know this element from the books.
Every year flood brings a lot of damage. Residents of the flooded areas and government attempts to deal with the water element. Embankments are raised and new ones are poured, banks of the river are strengthened. Before the beginning of the ice-drift in Nemunas lowlands, willing to prevent ice jam, icebreaker is launched. Military helps by blowing up ice jams. Aviation aircraft flies above the flooded areas of Šilutė and in their assistance many people were saved from the flood. The ancient people of this region knew how to prepare for the flood. Each farm had a tied boat. Food and fodder were stored in safe places. Animals and the whole barn were built on higher place so that the water couldn’t reach them, and they were flooded only then when there was massive flood. Around the roads and farmsteads people planted water-proof and fast-growing willows, so that when the area is flooded people could see the road and the ice wouldn’t destroy their houses.
In most cases, flood occurs because of the ice stoppage in Nemunas channel and then abundance of water spills in to meadows, and quickly flooding large areas. And mostly it happens at night.
The main ice jams are at the bridges and the river bends, i.e. near Rambynas Mountain, under Tilžė bridges, in Ragininkai Island, in Šilininkai village, under Rusnė Bridge and Šyškrantė village.
Another factor leading to sudden water raise - a strong and long-term north-west – from west direction blowing wind, which gathers water from the sea into the lagoon, and from them to Nemunas.
Fire and Rescue Services in Šilutė has the most work during the time of the flood. They have to do specific tasks such as rescue people and their property. Therefore this service has well prepared teams who have the skill to rescue people from the water. People and their property are evacuated from their houses by the amphibian. It helps urgently transport medics to the flood zone when there is a need, because medics can not reach those places by their own transportation. Due to flooded roads and interruption of bus routes they are replaced by rescue terrain vehicle.

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