Floods in St. Petersburg: causes and consequences

Floods in St. Petersburg: causes and consequences

St. Petersburg has always been prone to floods because of its geography. The city is surrounded and divided by several rivers, canals and the Gulf of Finland. Any critical rise of water in them caused flooding of territories.

There have been many floods in the history of St. Petersburg, some ending with serious consequences for its residents and infrastructure. In this article, we will consider the causes of floods, their history and modern systems of protecting the city from water.

Causes of floods

Floods in different cities of Russia are a common occurrence every spring. When the level in the river rises, it floods coastal areas. However, in St. Petersburg, floods do not always depend on the melting of precipitation.

The main reason is not quite a good location. St. Petersburg is located at the mouth of the Neva River, and when cyclones from the Atlantic enter the Gulf of Finland and catch up with a big wave, the water level in the river rises sharply and causes flooding in the city.

History of floods

The first flood occurred during the construction of St. Petersburg. In 1703, the Neva overflowed its banks and flooded Hare Island, where the Peter and Paul Fortress was being actively built at that time. As a result, Peter I ordered to raise the height of the island in order to avoid new floods in the future.

The next large-scale flood occurred in 1777, when the water level rose by 3 meters and many people died. It all started at night, and the residents of the city could not swim to a tree or a high place in the dark.

The flood of 1824 set a new record: the water rose by 4 meters and flooded almost the entire city. Then hundreds of people died, and many bodies could not be found. They were swept into the Gulf of Finland. Pushkin wrote about the incident in The Bronze Horseman.

Exactly one hundred years later, in 1924, another terrible flood happened in Leningrad, which not only flooded a third of the city, but was also accompanied by hurricane winds and a tornado, which is unusual for this region. The wind was so strong that it lifted barges into the air and threw them on the city. Later, when the elements subsided, residents saw the northern lights.

Fighting the elements

In the history of St. Petersburg, since 1703, there have been more than 300 serious floods, and the city authorities in different periods tried to protect residents from water. Raising the cultural layer, paving roads, construction of additional canals and granite embankments contributed to reducing the effects of floods, but did not completely solve the problem.

Nowadays, St. Petersburg is protected from floods thanks to a complex of protective structures. The construction of the dam began in the USSR, but only in 2011 it was put into operation. The KZS is located across the Gulf of Finland near Kronstadt. When the water level in the river reaches a critical point, gates are launched on the dam to prevent a large volume of water from entering the city.

Book a cozy room at the Teatralnaya Ploshchad Hotel and after settling in, go for a walk around the city to find water level markers on pre-revolutionary buildings that were set after the next flood. And if you want to know more about the city and its history, go to the Theatre Square Hotel website and read the articles in our blog.