The fire service alerted residents in the Upper Austrian city of Steyr in the early hours of Thursday morning that the river Enns, which runs through the city centre, was close to bursting its banks.
Car owners rushed to move vehicles parked near the river and shortly after the alarm at 3.45 am most vehicles along the Enns-Kai car parking zone that runs alongside the river had been moved.
Fire services report that the river is currently at 5.05 metres high and if it reaches 5.30 metres then it’s likely it will burst its banks. Whether that happens depends on the level of rain in the coming days.
Other areas have also been warned by fire services about possible flooding, including towns along the Inn and the Danube rivers.
“The situation is a little tense,” fire service commander Wolfgang Kronsteiner told the ORF’s ‘Guten Morgen Österreich’ programme on Thursday morning.
He warned that in the towns of Schärding and Mauthausen the rivers are reaching their limits and that they expect the water “will soon again exceed” the high level point.
Thousands without electricity
Around 5,000 households were left without electricity on Wednesday night after strong winds brought down electricity poles in Carinthia. As late as early Thursday morning, 600 households were still without power.
On Wednesday, firemen began clearing up the damage in a village in the district of Spittal an der Drau that was hit by a large mudslide, causing 30 houses to be evacuated.
Fallen trees and flooding also blocked the B109 road between Carinthia and Slovenia last night.
Mudslides caused by heavy rainfall over several days also hit streets in the district of Liezen in Styria last night, as well as blocking the L713 road between Admont and Trieben and the B113 near Selzthal.
In east Styria, hailstones have also destroyed pumpkin and maize crops, with the losses for agriculture estimated to be around €3.3 million.