Rain storms cause chaos

Roads and public transport severely affected as heavy rainfall in morning and early afternoon leads to flooding, above all, in and around Barcelona area

The storms and heavy rain that began in the early hours yesterday and continued during the day ravaged places on or near Catalonia’s eastern coastline. Hardest hit were the county of Vallès Occidental, above all Terrassa and Rubí, Barcelona’s metro area, as well as the Ebre area in the south, especially Mas de Barberans. In particular storms affected public transport and caused flooding in basements all over the country.

No one was hurt, and no major damage was done to infrastructure, but the bad weather brought the Barcelona metro area, Vallès Occidental and Baix Llobregat to a standstill, especially in the morning and afternoon. In Vallirana, some 340 children were evacuated from the Campderrós school, due to the risk that a nearby waterway could burst its banks.

Firefighters had a busy day, attending more than 1,200 emergency calls, mainly due to the flooding of basements and parking places, rivers and streams overflowing, and roads and underpasses becoming impassable.

A dozen roads were affected, especially in Vallès Occidental and Baix Llobregat, while rivers and streams near Terrassa and Rubí have not been so full for years. Heavy rainfall around midday meant the FGC rail service between Terrassa and Sant Cugat stopped for a few hours.

More than 134 litres of water per square metre in Montsià caused major flooding in Mas de Barberans. The town was cut off by road for some hours, while some of its streets were turned into raging torrents, even carrying away rubbish bins.

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s two ring roads were affected by long delays throughout the day, while some metro stations had to be closed in the morning and early afternoon. For some hours a number of flights were interrupted at Barcelona airport.

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