St. Petersburg, Russia: Flood #302

Global Voices Online
Wednesday, January 10, 2007

As waves and wind pushed water levels 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) above the norm today, LJ user goblin-gaga drove around St. Petersburg, filming this 302nd flood in the city's 303-year history:

He wrote (RUS):

I rode from the beginning of Primorsky Prospekt, along Vyborg Embankment, across Liteinyi Bridge, along Fontanka, through Nevskiy, to Lomonosovskyi Bridge. A flood, truly. A funny one.

A rather photographer-friendly flood, too - not devastating (knock on wood) and occurring in the sunny weather: needless to say, LJ user goblin-gaga wasn't the only blogger out there willing to document it.

One of the places to check for photo updates is LJ community fotopiter ("Photographic (as well as artistic) images of St.Petersburg, Russia, one of the most fascinating cities on the globe. The primary language of this community is Russian.").

So far, one of the most striking images there is this one, taken by LJ user aorist at Vasilyevsky Island around 4 PM. Most comments are of the "Wow!!!" variety, and quite a few bloggers are asking (RUS) for a larger-size copy of the photo - which aorist posts here, along with five more pictures from St. Petersburg's streets.

LJ user batony4 admits (RUS) that he "loves floods" - even though they "hurt the economic and ecological situation in the city, and cause streets and subway stations to shut down." His flood photos from the Karpovka River area are here.

LJ user i-lost-escape has also posted photos from the Karpovka River - here. She wrote (RUS):

The wind woke me up today. It was blowing violently and howling loudly - even though all the windows and doors were closed. I tried to open the window, to see what's going on out there. It cost me some effort to close it.

They were writing about the flood in the news. It's a frequent occurrence in St. Pete. More often than not, a flood looks like two lower steps of the staircases leading to the rivers submerged. And I wasn't going anywhere at first, but was following the news nevertheless.

When they wrote that the Karpovka River began to overflow and flooded the road, I grabbed my camera and went there. The wind in the street was beating me off my feet and wasn't letting me breathe.

There were many photographers by the Karpovka. Boys with soap-boxes [cheap cameras] were using flash for some reason [...]. Some people were photographing one another: "Me and the 302nd flood." [...]

LJ user periskop has posted pictures from Fontanka and wrote (RUS):

I was working peacefully, glancing at the rising Neva every once in a while. But when around 3 PM the water reached the step from the road at the embankment across the river from us (we are located behind the Finlyandskiy Bridge), my soul couldn't take it anymore and I left for the city center to take a look. [...] Fontanka was about to overflow - some 15 cm were left to the road. [...] 220 cm above the norm - it's not a joke, last time it was 180 cm. I haven't seen anything like this in my time here...

In a comment to another post, periskop added (RUS):

I do remember the flood two years ago. It was a lot less graphic then - it all began in the evening, and went on at night, and there was a downpour, and then it was all gone by noon. And today everything happened with the sunlight, in the daytime, with strong wind, and the peak of it was around 3-4 PM - and so it was a lot more impressive.

According to LJ user troitsa1, around 5 PM, the water in the Moyka near the Blue Bridge reached the level of the 1967 flood. He has posted photos from the Moyka and also from the Neva River (with the remains of the ice that had come down from Lake Ladoga very early this year - frighteningly early). To one reader, who seemed to be in awe of the photos, troitsa1 responded (RUS):

troitsa1: Well, we are used to it already! It's just that digital cameras didn't exist before - and floods were always there... :)

yasczerka: Yes, floods look a lot more impressive when there are digital cameras :)) I'm very impressed, and even slightly scared :)

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