Hurricane winds ripped steel sheets from rooftops and brought trees down. 4 incidents of broken power lines have been registered. At the Korablestroiteley street in the Vasileostrovskiy district, close to the Gulf of Finland, wind took down a balcony cover and downed a tree – right onto a car. Fortunately, the car was empty at the time.
In the very same neighborhood, wind hurled wooden planks from a 6th floor balcony – one of those broke the glass of a balcony a floor lower and fell into a flat. More on aftermath of the natural disaster and how the hurricane was fought against in St. Petersburg – in Alexey Zhukov’s report.
Alexey Zhukov, correspondent: “The dam gates are closed. If it wasn’t for them, the water level in the Neva river could’ve reached 2 meters and St. Petersburg would have been flooded. People at the complex of protective structures started preparing for “St. Judas” arrival after the first worrying reports from Europe. Specialists checked the entire facility, made all calculations and were in full awareness mode starting Monday morning”
The power of the natural disaster was evaluated at the control center of the protective structures complex. Not only sensors suggested the wind’s strength, but also shaking picture from surveillance cameras. 28 m/second wind continued to bring in more water through the shut dam gates. Usually, Neva’s level is growing for three hours after the gates are shut and then stalls for a short while. Then the city is threatened by a water flow from Lake Ladozhskoe.
Oleg Panchyuk, deputy director of protective structures complex of St. Petersburg: “We need to estimate and catch that moment so that water coming from the Gulf of Finland and the Baltics - that piled-up wave – doesn’t flood the city. And at the same time we must keep the doors shut for a very exact time period – so that the water from the Neva wont flood the city too”.
“Saint Judas” hit the streets of St. Petersburg. 1000 downed trees. Even in a quite courtyard at the television center a branch was broken off. At the Vasilyevskiy island’s Sredniy avenue a fallen tree tore the tramway power lines and created a traffic jam. At the Lanskaya street, a tree fell on the pavement – luckily no one got hurt. In some parts, weak constructions were broken; road signs and fences were turned over.
Alexander Kolesov, head of St. Petersburg’s meteorological service: “It’s a standard cyclone for St. Petersburg. Usually, when it comes we’re having a flood. So far there have been 309 of them. It will pass during today; the wind will lose strength by evening. In the night, the dam gates will be opened and we will all forget about the cyclone”.
The cyclone came to St. Petersburg from Europe. 13 people were killed there by the disaster. The hurricane hit Latvia, Estonia, the UK and Germany. Hundreds of homes were left without electricity, highways were blocked. The Leningrad region took the biggest hit in Russia so far – more than 11 thousand people have been left without electricity in their homes. A special operative headquarters was created by the region’s governor to deal with the disaster. Now the cyclone is heading towards the Archangelsk, the Novgorod and the Vologda regions.
Alexey Zhukov, correspondent: “Eventually “St. Judas” reached St. Petersburg only in the form of strong wind and rains. The water level in the Neva river is only a little higher than average, so the 310th flood from the inception of St. Petersburg is unlikely to happen.