Spain – Flash Floods in Valencia Region After 40mm of Rain in Less Than 1 Hour

A severe storm hit the Valencia Region of Spain on 20 August, 2019, causing flash flooding in parts of the provinces of Castellón, Alicante and Valencia. Some areas recorded more than 40mm of rain in less than 1 hour.

Floods in Benicarló, Castellón, Spain, 20 August 2019. Photo: Government of Benicarló

The worst hit areas were the towns of Peñíscola and Benicarló along the coast, where at least 6 vehicles were left stranded after flash floods inundated roads. Teams of firefighters were called out to rescue stranded passengers and drivers from the trapped vehicles. Benicarló was cut off for some time during the storm. A state of emergency was declared in Peñíscola.

Areas of the region recorded intense rainfall during the early hours of 20 August. El Toro in Castellón recorded 41.8mm of rain in 20 minutes. Associació Valenciana de Meteorologia (AVAMET) said that Peníscola recorded 58.8mm of rain during the storm, with 39.2mm falling before 10:00. Benicarló recorded 42.8mm of rain during the storm.

Spain’s met agency, Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET) in Valencia reported record rainfall in Alicante, with 86.8mm recorded in 24 hours. This is the highest daily total for a summer’s day. AEMET said that 41.2mm of rain fell in 1 hour from 03:30.

Some areas saw over 150mm during the day. AVAMET reported that Villalonga in Valencia Province recorded 204.6mm of rain in 24 hours to 21 August and La Vall d’Ebo in Alicante Province 167.6mm during the same period.

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