AT THIS time of the year, and especially in the wake of the recent set of storms and heavy rainfall, locals with long memories begin to recall the weather phenomena known as the Gota Fria (literally ‘Cold Drip’ in English).
As David Hudson from the Torrevieja Classic Car Club reminds us, unless you’ve experienced firsthand the real effects of a Gota Fria you won’t be prepared for what will happen.
“The Gota Fria is when a cold front from the Atlantic hits a prolonged period of exceptional hot summer. This happens during September until the middle of October. The last big Gota Fria was in 1987 when it destroyed the road system in the Vega Baja and the roads now in existence date from that point. Before that, in 1976, it devastated buildings in and around Orihuela and on both occasions lives were lost,” said David. “All the signs are there that this area is due for another Gota Fria.
“It is the speed and volume of water that is the danger. You can have three feet of water in an hour. It doesn’t matter how good the drainage system is because the volume of water causes an air lock and that’s when the flooding happens.
Underground car parks present a danger in these storms so the advice if the water rushes in quickly is to get out and leave your car for the insurance. As David confirms: “People have died trying to get their car out. The big danger is staying in your car when the water is rising quickly. Your car does not make a good boat.”
A free leaflet covering the problems associated with a Gota Fria and some of the solutions is available via e-mail at [email protected]