RESIDENTS across Almeria saw the skies open and heavy rain sweep across the region with flooding in some areas.
With the storms arriving residents and visitors battened down the hatches as the province went on weather alert. Some places experienced hailstorms and heavy rain, while others saw rivers of mud sweeping through their towns. Pulpi was the area first hit, as the Nogalte watercourse began to flow, with Huercal Overa, Lubrin, Antas, Vera and Cuevas del Almanzora reporting heavy rains shortly afterwards.
In September 2012, four people died in the region as storms hit. As the rain got heavier social networks began flowing with messages from citizens concerned that they were in for a repeat performance.
Vera cancelled its bullfight and the Guardia Civil began advising people to remove their cars from basement parking and to relocate them to higher areas.
Some residents began moving their belongings to higher floors in their properties and the Atalaya neighbourhood of Huercal Overa started to see flooding, although it fell quickly.
The A-334 in Antas was completely cut off by muddy floodwaters and Guardia Civil had to rescue a British man trapped in his vehicle at Los Gallardos.
Luis Antonio Petit from San Sebastian described his holiday home in Vera that he had spent his life savings on. “In two hours, I have lost everything,” he said.
Mayor Rogelio Mena in Albox asked for urgent help to clear access routes, as some areas were cut off. The rain eased, leaving residents with the task of clearing mud and debris from the streets, and in some cases, counting the damage to their homes.
There was some positive news from the rains, however, as local reservoirs were topped up in just a couple of hours.