Agent describes devastation as flash floods hit Crete

By Lisa James
Home » Agent describes devastation as flash floods hit Crete

A travel agent has described how islanders and holidaymakers were taken by surprise after severe weather caused flash flooding in parts of Crete at the weekend.

Sarah Pratt, who lives on the island and runs Sarah’s Instant Holidays, part of Vertical Group, told Travel Gossip: “No-one expected this. We had weather warnings – we knew that there was bad weather coming, but the severity of the damage has been shocking.”

Two people have died in the flash floods after severe storms that struck on Friday and Saturday.

Online news service Greek Reporter said the flash floods ‘destroyed entire areas of the island’ and the seaside resort of Agia Pelagia, near Heraklion, remains closed, with more than 15 shops and restaurants reporting severe flood damage.

In Sitia, a museum guard and eight tourists were trapped in the island’s archeological museum, and had to be rescued.

Roads were flooded and Heraklion Airport was closed for more than 10 hours on Saturday, causing severe delays and diversions.

Sarah said: “The roof fell down in the airport – it just folded completely.  People were wading through water inside the terminal.

“I had some customers who were due to fly out and who were delayed, but they were able to board just after 11pm, when the airport reopened.  

“Jet2 reps got sent home from their hotels and were told to only go out in case of emergency.”

Sarah added the area around the popular resort hotel Arina Beach in the Hersonissos area was flooded, although the hotel itself is understood to have been unaffected and it has remained open.

The last time Crete was hit by serious flash flooding was two years ago, when the Malia area – where Sarah lives – was badly affected.

At the time, Sarah raised €10,000 to support families in the area.

Sarah, who’s lived on the island for 18 years, said: “The flooding two years ago was horrendous. But thank God no-one died. This time we’ve lost two people. It’s awful – we weren’t expecting it at all.”

Another agent holidaying on Crete told Travel Gossip on Monday morning: “The weather has improved and the sun is trying to get out.

“Agia Pelagia is closed off to the public and won’t be open for some time.

“We went into Heraklion yesterday and all was well. The beach is a mess, though, with debris.

“Hotels around Agia Pelagia are fine and operating as normal.”

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