Rising Water

A few more photos of the Danube in Budapest from yesterday (June 7th) – it continues to get wider and wider!

The portion of the #2 tram that is still able to run. These stairs usually lead down to the waterfront where some boats for cruises and dining are located, as well as the lower road along the rakpart.
The portion of the #2 tram that is still able to run. These stairs usually lead down to the waterfront where some boats for cruises and dining are located, as well as the lower road along the rakpart.
This is the #2 tram line just steps away from the first picture. It can no longer run between here and Parliament, which is probably 50% of the line.
This is the #2 tram line just steps away from the first picture. It can no longer run between here and Parliament, which is probably 50% of the line.
To the left, you can see a pedestrian bridge that's been erected solely for the flooding, to have access to the boats. Unfortunately, by today it is probably no longer safe to walk on.
To the left, you can see a pedestrian bridge that’s been erected solely for the flooding, to have access to the boats. Unfortunately, by this weekend it is probably no longer safe to walk on.
The lower road next to the river and the #2 tram line are completely covered here. The streetlight is for the tram.
The lower road next to the river and the #2 tram line are completely covered here. The streetlight is for the tram.
These are the steps I walked down just three days ago to take pictures of the Danube. The bottom 5-6 stairs were submerged yesterday, and today it's supposed to be deeper.
These are the steps I walked down just three days ago to take pictures of the Danube. The bottom 5-6 stairs were submerged yesterday, and today it’s supposed to be deeper.
The tunnel that allows pedestrians to walk under the Szechenyi Lanchid (chain bridge) along the waterfront.
The tunnel that allows pedestrians to walk under the Szechenyi Lanchid (chain bridge) along the waterfront.
On the left, under the bridge, is where cars drive normally on the lower bank. The far right is where the #2 tram would go under the Lanchid.
On the left, under the bridge, is where cars drive normally on the lower bank. The far right is where the #2 tram would cross under the Lanchid.
When I took photos on Tuesday, I was standing where those blue benches are floating (on the left of the photo). Now the water would be over my head.
When I took photos on Tuesday, I was standing where those blue benches are floating (on the left of the photo). Now the water would be over my head.
Crazy. That's all I've got for ya.
Crazy. That’s all I’ve got for ya.
The water has reached the bottom steps of the Parliament.
The water has reached the bottom steps of the Parliament.
On the Buda side of the river, boys played in the water (yuck!) while volunteers put together sandbags in the background.
On the Buda side of the river, boys played in the water (yuck!) while volunteers put together sandbags in the background.
Parliament as seen from the Buda side of the river. The lower bank road is marked by the triangular sign.
Parliament as seen from the Buda side of the river. The lower bank road is marked by the triangular sign.
I don't think anyone is going to make it to Vác or Szentendre on this route.
I don’t think anyone is going to make it to Vác or Szentendre on this route.

People who have seen the photos on Facebook have been asking if we’re safe and if our home is okay. Budapest is incredibly lucky in that 1) we have not had significant rain, so the majority of the flooding is overflow coming down the river from the cities where it has rained, and 2) the city is well built along the river, with a lower bank and an upper bank.

The first point means that there is no flooding in the city other than directly along the riverbanks, so our home (which is about 1.5 kilometers from the river) is perfectly safe. In fact, today we’ve got a gorgeously sunny and warm morning, with no trace of clouds in the sky.

The second point means that while the lower roads are flooded, and some of the islands may be in danger, the majority of the city is built much higher. In Budapest, there are no homes or buildings directly on the river, other than the Parliament, which is built up on the upper embankment. The only things on the lower embankments are pedestrian walkways, roads, and tram lines, so while traffic has increased, and we will certainly have a lot of dirt and trash to remove over the next weeks, the risk of losing buildings and infrastructure is much less than it has been in other cities further along the Danube.

I have been very impressed with how Hungary has responded to the floods. The number of volunteers out there putting together sandbags is frankly astonishing. We have been fortunate to have advance notice of the floods and the time to prepare. My heart is so hurt when I look at the photos of the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany, and some of the smaller towns to the north of us in Hungary, where they have had far greater damages. My friend Ariana sent me this link to photographs of Germany and it is just devastating.

For those that are really interested 😉 this map shows the effect of the floods on the transportation system, and it’s a great overview showing how the flooding is limited to a particular part of the city. On the second page, you can see where we live at the stop labeled Oktogon, which is well out of the danger zone.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s