Kay Parkes writes:
At the end of the season, we planned to enjoy a cruise around Northen Sporades National Park. When suddenly a strong wind rose in the Aegean Sea, in the Stenon Kafirevs and the Evia canal. We headed north, leaving gusts of wind in the wake, crossing the bridge at Khalkis before midnight. Leaving early to avoid the headwind, we reached Ay Yeoryios, where we moored at the embankment for the night, accompanied by a couple of fishing boats.
A changeable wind brought us to the Koukounaries on Skiathos, where we swam and sunbathed. From there they went by engine, and sometimes under sail with a very light wind, to Skopelos and moored on the city's waterfront. Everything was going fine. But ... the forecast foreshadowed a storm.
The peaks of the Azores held back the front of the storm, and thunderstorms with heavy downpours rumbled around, flooding roads and interrupting flights to Skiathos. On the night of September 22, it rained heavily for more than five hours. Dirt and debris washed away from the hills, flooding the first floors of buildings.
The river, which partially flowed underground, overflowed its banks. Large sinkholes appeared on the road along the harbor. At least five cars were washed into the bay, others were piled up in disarray, and a police car was thrown into a tree. The motorcycles were completely crushed. Surprisingly, no fatalities have occurred.
The yachts were much more fortunate. We woke up in a silt-covered harbor topped with fruits, vegetables and various other items. The ferry and embankment were not affected. Apart from the two small fishing boats that were flooded in their moorings, the rest were fine.
In the afternoon, under the pale sun, the cleaning operation began. Taverns and small shops were rebuilt and quickly put in some order so that they could open. Both supermarkets remained closed. The yachts came and went. The eighty-year-old noted that there had never been anything like it here on Skopelos in his entire life.
Today the weather on Sporades is back to normal and the sun is shining. The clean-up continues, but it will take much longer to rebuild the buildings at the southern end of the harbor.
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