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ORIGINAL PAPER
 
 

The September 2017 flood in Elbląg (Poland) in perspective

Iwona Pińskwar 2  ,  
 
1
Institute of Meteorology and Water Management – National Research Institute, Kraków
2
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences
3
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznań
Meteorol. Hydrol. Water Manage. 2018;6(2):67–78
Publish date: 2018-06-21
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TOPICS:
ABSTRACT:
On the morning of 18 September 2017, the center of the city of Elbląg in northern Poland was inundated by the rapidly rising waters of the Kumiela River, resulting in considerable damage and chaos in the city. The present paper provides information about this event, which was caused by intense precipitation lasting two days. We put this individual event in perspective by examining the climate track in the observation and projection of flood hazard through analyzing changes in temperature, precipitation and intense precipitation. We also examine the non-climatic factors of flood risk, such as spatial development and river regulation. Further, we pose the question of whether actions aimed at flood risk reduction, predominantly by way of structural defenses in the catchment of the Kumiela River, really reduce the flood risk in Elbląg. We also offer more general remarks pertaining to flood risk reduction in Poland, primarily based on technical measures, and we unveil the shortcomings of the current flood risk management system in Poland. In the social consciousness, the structural flood defense strategy has become the norm of thinking in terms of methods for reducing the effects of floods in Poland, but this does not always contribute to reducing flood damage either locally or nationally. We refer to some good examples of preparedness for urban inundations caused by heavy precipitation in other cities.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Iwona Pińskwar   
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bukowska, 19, 60-809 Poznan, Poland