Tyrol Flood Situation

Heavy rainfall led to a challenging flood situation in Tyrol, with conditions initially worsening on Monday but gradually improving later in the day. Although two civil defense warnings were issued for Schwaz and Kramsach, the overall assessment by authorities was relatively positive, with water levels receding at various measuring points. Although concerns persisted in low-lying areas, the impact was less severe than anticipated.

Tyrol’s Governor Anton Mattle (ÖVP) expressed relief during an impromptu press conference, stating that the region seemed to have escaped the worst of the situation. Notably, no injuries had been reported up to that point. While damage was reported primarily in valleys like Ötztal, Stubaital, Wipptal, and Zillertal, urban and densely built areas were spared from major flooding due to overflowing rivers or streams. Authorities described the situation as a “relaxation” and noted that the heavy rainfall was moving faster toward Salzburg than originally predicted.

However, certain areas, especially Schwaz, Kufstein, and Hall in Tirol, continued to face critical conditions. The civil defense warning in Schwaz involved a continuous three-minute tone advising residents to stay indoors. The mass of water flowing down the Inn River was projected to reach its highest levels in the early evening, particularly impacting Hall in Tirol and Schwaz.

The districts of Imst, Ötztal, and Innsbruck-Land bore the brunt of the flood situation. Notably, the well-known winter sports resort Sölden in Ötztal became inaccessible due to road damage. Evacuations were carried out in various areas, including the Ried district of Tumpen where 30 households were relocated to local facilities.

The Wipptal region also suffered with road closures, mudslides, and bridge blockages, while the Pitztal saw evacuations in Jerzens. In the Stubaital, the Ruetz River overflowed in multiple places.

In Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, emergency preparations were underway. With water levels in the Inn River reaching a hundred-year high, the “Inn special alarm plan” was activated. Flood protection measures were implemented, and bridges were closed. Although the Sill River’s level initially rose, the flow decreased significantly by midday.

Vorarlberg, another affected region, witnessed heavy rainfall with over 100 liters per square meter in the past 72 hours. Lake Constance’s water level rose by 36 centimeters in one day. Rivers and streams experienced elevated water levels, categorized as “small flood.” The Alpenrhein River demonstrated its strength, causing concern, but the situation later eased. The Governor of Vorarlberg, Markus Wallner (ÖVP), highlighted the importance of flood protection projects like “RHESI.”

Although the projected flood peak was under 2,000 cubic meters per second (lower than the feared 2,500), it indicated the necessity of ongoing flood protection efforts designed for a 100-year flood scenario, involving the Alpine Rhine which flows through the region.