Heavy rainfall causes floods in central Serbia


A woman tries to sweep mud and water off the floor of a home in the village Guberevac, Serbia, Monday, June 3, 2019. Torrential rains in the past 24 hours have caused floods in central Serbia that have covered roads and washed into homes, disrupting traffic and damaging bridges. (AP Photo)

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Torrential rains over 24 hours caused floods Monday in central Serbia that covered roads, washed into homes and damaged bridges.

Authorities beefed up flood defenses along Serbia’s main rivers and introduced emergency measures in parts of the Balkan nation.

Bulging creeks and overflowing sewers flooded dozens of houses in several towns and villages, forcing some residents to flee their homes or escape to the buildings’ upper floors. State broadcaster RTS says a high school and the local soccer stadium in the town of Dragacevo were inundated.

A senior emergency official, Predrag Maric, said 159 people evacuated their homes. The situation was slowly calming by Monday afternoon, but more rainfall is expected in the coming days, Maric added.

“There was huge rainfall overnight in these areas,” said Maric. “That is why we have declared emergency situations in nine municipalities. Our emergency teams are in the field.”

The Balkan region has seen weeks of rainy weather. A child went missing in Bosnia in May after falling into a swollen creek.

Dozens of people died in massive Balkan flooding in 2014.

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