Flood Waters in Wrocław

Before 1945 my city of Wrocław was known as Breslau. Germans knew exactly where to build around this city, leaving low lying ground for flood water control. Seventy years later Poland build communities all over that low lying ground, German flood maps in hand! And now, every time Odra (Oder), the second largest river in Poland that flows through my city, gains enough water to flood acres of homes and apartment building people wonder why this is happening.

I’m not asking Poland to build cars like BMW or Audi, or have some heavy artillery ready just in case Germans change their mind about the peace treaty, again. But when you have maps that detail with true German precision flooding in your city for the past 100 years, why the hell aren’t you using them?

The biggest flood in recent memory happened in 1997. Since then, millions of Euro’s have been set aside to raise the river banks, put in flood control equipment, build dams, etc. But nothing has been done. Apparently bureaucracy is so thick here this whole city will vanish before anything will get done!

In one loudest instance, the city has given “garden space” around the river banks to the people that live in 10 story apartment buildings near by. That was some 8 years ago. The idea behind it is to give people their small garden that they miss out on by living in a concrete block. Recently, the city realizing they need this very land to build higher river banks, said “ohh shit, we need this land back”, and lo and behold people refuse to give it back. We’re talking people that grow carrots and some strawberries on maybe 100-200 square feet of space, that pretty much are solely responsible today for why 3,000 people got flooded, including THEIR OWN HOMES! One case that is now all over the papers shows one garden owner who has been in a legal battle with the city for the past 3 years over his land. It’s crazy. It’s stupid. And yet somehow I wouldn’t expect anything less.

What also bugs me, is that people knowing of previous high water decide to build in flooded areas anyway. A few years later sure enough they get soaked, and now it’s the city’s fault for the flood. Fuck off. And no, you’re not a hero because you spent 4 days straight packing sand bags on the river banks. You’re still an asshole. You’re just protecting your own property. Hero’s would be the 10,000 firemen and soldiers dispatched to protect your house. My uncle is second in command of a fire house near my city. During the high tide on the river, he didn’t come home for a week straight. His company was also protecting a community, a known flood water spill ground, where each and every house owner there had signed an affidavit that states “I am building on flood ground, I take sole responsibility for my actions”. And yet they need saving? WTF?

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