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Heavy rain triggers more flooding in Poland

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

June 10, 2010 — Already facing their worst floods in a century, heavy rain continues to cause problems for people in Poland.

Major floods continued to cause chaos across Poland on Thursday. Overnight storms brought more heavy rainfall to already swollen rivers, causing many of them to once again spill their banks.

In the western town of Zebrzydow, along the banks of the rising Oder river, people spent the day building walls of sandbags around their homes.

“There's been a lot of heavy rain. Three storms came together at once and it rained all night, non stop. And suddenly there was all this water,” said Krystyna, a local resident.

Another wave of floods was expected to hit the Warsaw region on Wednesday, putting thousands of emergency workers on high alert. Water levels have risen north of the city, but so far the centre of Warsaw has not been affected.

“From now on we're just waiting to see what will happen,” said Wojciech Paszkowski, a resident of Plock, north of Warsaw. “There are a lot of elderly people and families around here so we are still nervous.”

At least 20 people have died and thousands of others have been forced to leave their homes since the flooding began in early May. Water levels started receding in late May, but another bout of heavy rain at the start of June caused rivers to swell once again.

In Hungary, water levels peaked in the Budapest area on Wednesday and are now receding. Still, river traffic restrictions are in place on the Danube because the waves from passing ships could damage dams built along the shores. People who evacuated their homes are being told not to return just yet.

Flooding in Turkey has also been a major problem this week, thanks to a stretch of heavy rain.

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