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Lower embankments may be closed from Monday

Great traffic-jams can be expected from the beginning of next week, for the flood coming on the Danube.

The first sections to be closed are alongside Margit-sziget. The rains that have soaked Hungary and Central Europe for the past week are likely to lead to flooding of the lower embankment running along the Danube in Budapest, forcing closure of the roads over the weekend. Danube is expected to have its highest water level around 680 centimeters this time.

Environment Ministry State Secretary László Kóthay said that while the closure of the roads would cause some traffic problems, the rising waters pose no threat to area residents. In recent days, an unusual amount of rain has fallen in the areas of Austria that feed the Danube, which will likely result in a second-degree flood alert in Hungary.

It is most likely that lower embankments would need to be closed on Monday, as the water reaches 600 centimeters. Closing theese roads will cause even greater problems in the traffic of the capitol, as Szabadság bridge is already closed for renovations, Kálvin square and Vámház avenue are closed as well in the 5th district, and there are many more streets under reconstruction in the suburban area. The lower embankment is getting closed section by section, as the water level increases.

On the Buda side, roads go under water from 600 centimeters, but the section between Lánchíd and Lágymányosi híd the roads are safe till 640-655 centimeters. On the Pest side, also along Margit-sziget, at Szent István park, 13th district, the embankment needs to be closed at 610, going south the embankment is getting higher, for example it is 660 centimeters at Szabadság bridge. The record water-level was 860 centimeters in 2006.