Heavy Rains, Light Damage in the Saanenland

  12.05.2015 Archiv

This is reminiscent of the heavy rainfall and devastating storm ofsummer 2010 that caused millions of francs in damages. 


After the 2010 storm, a project was created to prevent future destruction on the Chalberhönibach, which runs from the enclave of the same name down to Gstaad. At a total cost of CHF 5,8 million, the project consists of an overflow dam to hold back 10,000 cubic metres of sediment.  The bridge and road are also in line to be reconstructed.  These improvements are expected to ensure the Chalberhönibach remains in its streambed.  Yet the project has not yet been started, nearly five years later, and last week’s rains have tested the stream's limits.

Chalberhönibach swelled to just 5 to 10 centimetres below the Oeyetli Bridge, and in the several places in the upper basin of the dam, flooded over. It also flooded over near its mouth on the Saane, dredging up 300 to 400 cubic metres of rubble and sediment. At this stage it is unclear which communities will be responsible for the price of the clean up. As a precaution, several roads were closed in the area. With the easing of the rainfall, they were all reopened.

All in all, the rains caused a scare and some clean up, yet the situation could have been much worse. Fortunately there were no injuries or damage to any buildings.

“We are lucky that in spite of the intense rains, there were no serious consequences,” says Christian Brand, head of Saanen's Fire Brigade. Brand also noted that even after the rainfall stops there is still danger of flooding. “It takes approximately 5 to 7 hours for the water levels to fall,” he informed.



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