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Storms expose Athens’ failings

The Ballos weather front battered Greece for a second day Thursday, with heavy storms on the island of Corfu and causing serious disruptions in Athens, flooding homes, schools and roads and trapping thousands of drivers as well as bus passengers for hours.

The mayhem once again showed up the Greek capital as a defenseless city at the mercy of severe weather.

The result of the heavy rainfall – and Athens’ problematic infrastructure, which has not been sufficiently maintained and upgraded for decades – was serious traffic disruptions on main road arteries including Poseidonos, Konstantinoupoleos and Kifissias avenues and Hamosternas and Petrou Ralli streets, and main arteries in Elefsina, Markopoulo and Glyka Nera.

The Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (Metro Line 1) was cut in two due to water accumulation, and only at noon served routes from Tavros to Piraeus and Omonia to Kifissia. Tram and bus services also had problems.

There were power outages in areas including the densely populated Kallithea and Pangrati.

For many municipalities in Athens rainfall was a third or a quarter of their annual average.


Ballos is today expected to affect almost the entire country with heavy rain and storms – and Attica until the afternoon.


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