Flooding in Moldova -see comments for updates or to ask specific questions

Last Friday it seems Moldova, and many other parts of Eastern Europe, experienced enough rain to cause extensive flooding in their area. Below is an email from Olga in Chisinau. As we get information we’ll post it here in the comments section. Thanks for your prayers for the people we know and love as they continue to pray for the lakes and rains to hold and as they begin to clean up from such an event.

Hello Jen,

Now everything seems to be ok after the flood. None is affected or damaged. But Dorel and me were in the center of events when the flood started to show up. It happened that we had 3 and 4 times more rains per month in August, therefore some of the big lakes broke up and they were coming toward Chisinau. I assume that the authorities knew that but didn’t informed the people in Chisinau or in the surroundings. Dorel and me were on Friday morning in Gratiesti (the old party of the location where transitional houses are) at a small wedding party of one young couple from Jesus Savior. Their house is in a valley so it started to rain again, because a day before rained a lot, and big waters were formed but didn’t damaged anything yet. But on Friday when it started to rain again we saw next to this couple’s house a huge river of waters that were directed to another lake in Gratiesti. We tried to get in the 4-Runner and go to Chisinau, but… the waters were so huge that we couldn’t drive, if we would the waters would take away the car together with us. It’s God’s direction that we didn’t try to get against the waters…. it was such an experience!… you can’t imagine because I didn’t believe either it was happening in reality with me. So we managed to park the car in the small yard but there was no assurance it won’t be damaged or taken away by the waters. At least there was a small fence. In this time the waters were becoming huger and huger and very strong, like a big river coming down from the mountains. We didn’t know what was happening. We, the groom and the bridegroom, the other quests left the house and went toward the back side. In the back of that house is a cemetery with a high stone fence… we climbed the fence on a ladder, went through the cemetery and hid in the house of one of our friends that is on a hill. We continued to pray. And it was a miracle that the waters came down after about 3 hours and we could get the car out of the yard, undamaged! It was unbelievable! Because the waters were so big and so close to the house! But when we got to Chisinau after 3 hours the other lake broke down and the waters reached Posta Veche, where we live and CERI’s office is. CERI’s office wasn’t reached but the 16 floor- building and many others got waters inside in the basements, we couldn’t get into the house, but stayed in CERI’s office for few more hours… kept calling Dorel’s dad who was inside the 16 floor building, to know what’s going on.The waters here reached more than 1 meter, I guess more than 40 inches. We got home the same night but didn’t have any power and couldn’t get any info what is going to be… one of our relative kept calling to inform us. They told on TV that there was another danger for a different lake to break – the largest one in Moldova! It didn’t happen this and hopefully won’t! But as far as we know 3 lakes has broken that day. Many parking places in Chisinau were affected – cars damaged, houses destroyed, goods taken away, shops, groceries and open markets damaged. We saw these all with our eyes, not heard from anywhere! I don’t know still if there are any people dead. But it was absolutely His grace that protected us! For this and everything else we are very thankful to Him, our Father and God!


6 Comments on “Flooding in Moldova -see comments for updates or to ask specific questions”

  1. Sweet Sleep

    Here’s something from the Internet:

    Showers cause risk of flooding in Moldova’s capital

    20.08.2005, 03.38

    CHISINAU, August 20 (Itar-Tass) – Risk of a flooding loomed over the Moldovan capital Chisinau early Saturday morning in the light of a possible break of a water reservoir dam in the city’s suburbs.

    The reservoir was overfilled due to a cyclone that brought heavy showers to Moldova from Europe.

    Moldovan TV channels that aired the warning said the water levels in the reservoir were rising steeply and there could be no guarantee that the dam, which had not been repaired for over ten years, would withstand the pressure of dozens of millions of cubic meters of water and silt.

    Experts at the department for emergency situations urged the people not to leave their houses without any special necessity and told the residents, whose houses are located in low places to be ready to evacuate.

    Friday, a meter-tall tide of water rolled through the streets in the district of Rascan right after the rainwater had broken through a lake dam in the suburban village of Gratiesti.

    Basements, ground floors, pedestrian under-walkways, and engineering services were flooded and several house, destroyed. Their residents managed to save themselves by virtue of a miracle.

    Heavy showers with hail that began on the night from Thursday to Friday have cut off electricity supplies to more than 200 villages.

    The calamity pounded the country’s northern and central districts, as well as the cities of Balta and Chisinau especially fiercely.

    Army and police units were brought in to help liquidate the aftermath of flooding.

    Rain worsens the situation and impedes the rescuers’ work. Weather forecasters say, however, the showers will continue for another three days.

  2. Sweet Sleep

    Here’s a perspective from a fellow Tennessean whose family has been serving as missionaries to Moldova for several years.

    Hi Jen,

    Yes there was flooding. Yes, it was amazing. Do you remember, Jen, where I stopped and got out of the car to buy a “Makler” newspaper (down at the bottom of the hill from the Mission House)? That road looked like a river. It was under water. The gas station at the bottom of the hill was under water up to the bottoms of the pumps. There were cars parked on this street and the water was half-way up the doors of the cars. All those tall apartment buildings down there had there first floor with water in it. The train station was flooded. All the cars parked there were half under water, if not more than half. We’d gone out Friday morning to buy some breakfast at McDonalds and couldn’t go the normal route because the flooding had begun. We didn’t understand at this time what was going on. We took the long way there and the long way back. Then later that morning I had to do some shopping for a friend’s wedding and, when we tried to get back home, there was no way home. The hill that the mission house sits on was kind of like an island with water on all the roads. I even tried to drive out to Cricova and come through a back way but there were Police standing out there as well telling everyone that the water was too high to cross the roads. We ended up sitting at Metro for several hours waiting for the flood waters to recess. The Police were everywhere trying to direct traffic while the firemen, with their trucks, were trying to pump and redirect the water to other avenues. It was really wild. Traffic in Chisinau that day was awful! I would say that those at the camps were o.k., especially if they were on high ground. Not only was it a problem because of the lakes overflowing but the rain was so hard it washed a lot of mud onto the streets. Metro, alone, had two inches deep of mud on their parking lot and it has only a small mound of earth beside its parking area. The good thing about it was the rains came at night but the flooding started early in the morning. So most people were awake and aware of what was happening. It did happen fast, though. There are still many trying to clean up after the fact. I was amazed that the water did recede as fast as it did. Here in the South, nothing happened. It didn’t rain but a few drops. There was more thunder and lightning than anything here. All the streets in Chisinau are clear now and driveable. They were clear, actually, by the next morning. I’m thinking that Olga’s translation that the lakes “broke up” because of all the rain is true but it’s not like they were dams or anything. It’s just that there was a lot of rain-hard rains-and the lakes overflowed and that, in turn, started a snowball effect with the rivers getting full and the creeks and all. This country isn’t built like America. In America we have engineers that plan cities and parks and lakes and so forth in order to keep such things to a minimum. Here, they just put a house or building where they want without channeling water or creeks or anything accordingly. This makes for a disaster when there is torrential rains. They don’t plan for anything. God was good through it all. I can see how it good have been much worse and many lives lost if the flooding had happened in the middle of the night.

    So, that’s all we know. We did get to experience it. It was amazing. I never thought I would see such a thing in Chisinau.

  3. Sweet Sleep

    Some homes in Chisinau are still in blackout
    BASA-Press, 22.08.2005

    Some private homes in the Moldovan capital are still in blackout, especially in the area around the Hipodromului street where the rains hit worst, said the Emergency Situations Department.

    It said the electric power and telephone connection in other parts of the city have been restored by 21 August.

    All streets in Gratiesti village except the central one are impracticable. Early estimates show that over 80 percent of wells in this settlement were flooded and that more than 40 percent of crop fields were destroyed by hail.

    The department said relief teams pumped on 21 August water out of basements in all residential blocks and private homes in the Chisinau municipality. Over 38 houses in the capital were flooded and six were destroyed. Repairs and mud clearing are carried out at the outskirts, in Stauceni and Gratiesti villages.

    Emergency department teams, army and police forces, as well as municipal services were engaged in relief work. The city deployed 83 machines and 600 workers to contribute to the relief efforts.

    Residents who lost their homes or were severely hit by the disaster were provided meals three times a day. No one died during the heavy rainfalls in Moldova in the past three days.

  4. Sweet Sleep

    Over 50 families from Hipodromului street became homeless after last week floods
    BASA-Press, 22.08.2005

    The heavy rainfalls early on August 19 flooded the homes of more than 50 families from the Hipodromului street of the Chisinau municipality, according to sources in the general directorate for emergency situations in the Chisinau City Hall .

    The sources said that the Hipodromului street was flooded because of the pond in Gratiesti, which overcame the riverbed by more than four metres than needed. As a result, the floods affected more than 22 households, 62 homes, of which 14 cannot be restored and another 32 were partly deteriorated. The homeless people received shelter and food in lycees Al. Ioan Cuza and M. Lomonosov in Chisinau, and more than 100 victims of natural disasters have been evacuated from schools and transferred to the Zarea hotel.

    Contacted by BASA, ad-interim Mayor of Chisinau Vasile Ursu said that the municipal authorities do their best to assure the homeless people with food and shelter, and each of affected families could receive a material aid of about 5,000 lei in line with a presidential decree. The homes which cannot be restored will be rebuilt with financing from the state and municipal budgets, Ursu promised.

    The General Police Department and National Army units are working round o’clock to aid residents and maintain the public order in the affected area.

  5. Sweet Sleep

    Here’s another email from an IMB family serving in Moldova.


    Thanks for writing. We are fine. There was no real damage with us other than Brad’s office got water damage to the ceiling and is now molding. It was a terrible storm with thunder, lightening and hail much of the night. Abby and I went out the next morning to go to the store and had a very hard time getting there because of the damage from the flood. One street was backed up for half a mile. When we got up there, we saw that about 50-100 feet was knee high water. We made it through fine in our jeep, but many smaller cars were having lots of trouble. Other roads were blocked off entirely because of the dam that broke. We saw areas in Starie pochta that were completely flooded with houses under water. I really feel for the families whose homes were destroyed or possessions ruined. One 80 year old lady was on the news saying that she was a pensioner making about $20 a month and said there was no way she could make it. You know how hard most people here have it. It’s usually hand to mouth, so when something like this happens, they are wiped out.

  6. Sweet Sleep

    Here’s the latest from Olga in Chisinau, which includes information from Ludmila about Falesti.

    Hello everyone,

    Regarding the flood consequences in Moldova, here is what we heard and saw some of them.

    I talked to Ludmila this morning about Falesti orphanage and camp there and she found out from the director in Falesti that the camp was not affected much, there was some water inside few rooms at the camp but none of the kids were hurt and they already got the water out from inside. Everything seems to be ok there. The rains there were not as strong as in Chisinau.

    As for the camp at the internat #2 in Chisinau there was some rain as well but no flood in that region. Just a strong wind broke few windowpanes. Here the children were in safety and none of them was affected. Mrs. Galina, the director told me that a classroom’s ceiling was damaged by the rain and felt down, and they would need to fix it before the school starts. In general the boarding school and the camp in Chisinau are ok. We thank God that none of the children and other people we know was affected and are in safety now.

    But the people here were really concerned and scared by this flood, especially those who saw it. We didn’t take any pictures at that moment… this was missed due to the stress, maybe. But there are still areas that look affected and we’ll try to make some pictures and send to you, if that’s possible.

    Some of the buildings and stores are still pumping out the water from the basements, in the lower places you can see a lot of water still there, like a lake that wasn’t there before…., etc. But praise God we all are safe now and everything is ok!

    Thank you all a lot for all your prayers for us and your concern. God bless!


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