The Gazivoda Dam is safe, no room for panic, spillway opened on time

Brana Gazivode prelivanje jezero

The Gazivoda Dam is safe and the water level in the lake has room to rise another meter and a half up to two meters. It is an embankment dam. As a precaution, the spillway was opened on time – only one of the four dam covers. The Ibar Lepenac company expressed hope that the situation will improve as early as tomorrow, as the water level of the torrential rivers flowing into the lake is already falling.

Experts in charge of the safety and operation of both dams on Gazivoda Lake in Zubin Potok state that there is no room for panic and that the spillway was opened as part of a standard procedure carried out when the water level rises.

We spoke with Marko Vulovic, director of public enterprise „Ibar“, about the situation in Gazivode, bearing in mind the rumors circulating around the town that the dam on the lake may overflow.

„The situation is not alarming, there’s still room for the water rise reserve, but I started to discharge the water in time and control the wave. We are trying and of course, we will continue to try to stretch it out as much as possible, until the water coming from the direction of Montenegro and Ribaric passes. That is our priority,“ says Vulovic.

„In other words, I’m not waiting for the water to rise to the maximum so that there is no room for action and I have to discharge 500 cubic meters, I started on time, I am discharging 100 cubic meters,“ he adds.

He confirmed that the spillway was opened, only one of the four dam covers.

„The water is discharged in a controlled manner. The level should not change. Maybe it will rise a little bit. Currently, other inflows are also declining, such as Lucka River, I am talking about the situation for Zubin Potok. This goes in our favor, only if there is no heavy rain again and something unexpected happens, but as it stands now, there should be no major changes in either Zubin Potok or Mitrovica,“ he explained.

According to Vulovic, the Gazivoda reservoir has not reached its maximum, although the overflow point has been crossed.

„It didn’t reach the maximum, but the overflow point was crossed by about 20-25 cm, and that one cover was opened, so that water is discharged. We are trying to control that wave. We’re monitoring it hourly all day long. There is no room for panic, we will try to discharge the water in a controlled and preventive manner so that no wave rushes in, but that it is dosed because we are also controlling the flow on the other dam. It is currently 100 cubic meters. We will try not to go beyond that, and if it happens, it will not be a lot.“

The embankment dam of Lake Gazivode is 107 m high, 460 m wide, and 408 m long.

Heavy rains in the last two days have caused floods throughout Kosovo. Several municipalities have been affected and floods have already caused damage. In the north, the situation is most dire in the areas of the river bed of the Ibar River, which flows into Lake Gazivode.

In the municipality of Zubin Potok, the village of Jagnjenica has been the most affected, while the villages of Dren, Prevlak, Crepulja, and Jabuka have been cut off from the rest of the municipality. The roads to Zubin Potok from the direction of North Mitrovica are blocked on both sides. Zubin Potok can be reached via Pridvorica.

Further down the Ibar, the most alarming situation is in Bosniak Mahala in North Mitrovica and Zvecan. Parts of Leposavic have also flooded.

Tenants from 11 residential buildings, around 120 families, were evacuated from Bosniak Mahala during the day. More than 30 people were housed in the student dorms. Rescue teams and citizens are hard at work preventing further flooding, while the authorities offer help via a telephone line available for all citizens who don’t have a place to stay: 064 85 23 709.

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