Heavy Rains in Slovenia Flood Parts of the Border Fence with Croatia

By 11 January 2016

Things are getting wet and wirey on the Slovenian border.

Slovenian forecasters have announced that on Monday there will be an increase in heavy precipitation which will cause high water levels of Slovenian rivers. The people living in the valley of the Kupa river are afraid of the potential damage which could be done by the river if the floods begin to take away the razor wire fence which the Slovenian government has put on the left bank of the river in order to prevent migrants and refugees from entering the country, reports Vecernji List and Index.hr on January 11, 2016.

According to the reports by the state environmental agency, it is expected that on Monday in most parts of the country between 40 to 100 litres of rain per square metre could fall, and perhaps even more at some locations. The water levels of rivers and streams will begin to rise sharply on Monday evening, with the possibility of extensive flooding.

Nataša Letig Žagar from the tourist board of Kostel, which is the smallest Slovenian municipality on the border with Croatia, said that the level of the Kupa river can raise by as much as five metres. If that were to happen, fallen trees and branches in the riverbed would take with them the dangerous barbed wire. "This is not a technical barrier at the border as interpreted by the government, but rather a deadly trap", said Letig Žagar.

Some of the Slovenian media report that, near the villages of Kot and Sodevci, the river has already taken some parts of the wire. Environmentalists, conservationists and tourist industry representatives have been discussing that possibility from the very beginning, fearing further damage and casualties. Many people on the Slovenian side of the Kupa river make their living thanks to tourism, from catering services, eco-tourism, renting boats for rafting and kayaking, and from camps and beaches in the river valley.

Some flooding has been reported in the Bela Krajina region as well. According to the Slovenian Radio-Television, in Poljanska Valley the river has already flooded the dangerous razor wire set by the Slovenian army.