HERRADÓN DE PINARES
Flash flood of 1 September 1999.
A huge storm was pouring on the area of El Herradón by 09:00. Then, the power went off and taps stopped spilling drinkable water – every neighbour sheltered inside their homes was unaware of what was approaching.
By 22:00 people started to worry as the river had risen beyond the parapets and over the streets. The inhabitants decided to abandon their homes as water flowed inside. Cars were already being dragged by an enormous downpour rolling through woods and over stones. Dead animals, missing people, and shattered houses were the eerie result.
El Herradón was split in two parts because of the floods, and families remained apart from each other. This unforeseen disaster left devastation, which was seen among the lights of the firemen, who rescued our neighbours from their homes.
We still thank the people that helped us clean up, as well as those who raised money, food and clothing for us all. We would especially like to thank the Red Cross, which was one of the first to come to our aid, and the surrounding towns whose generosity was meaningful for us. Thank you for everything.
Today, part of the river is channeled, the medieval bridge was imperfectly restored and some of the neighbours are trying to get back on track by upgrading their homes the way they can, since most of them are elderly people with a little income. Others were unable to accomplish this and they had to be relocated to relatives’ houses or even they took out a mortgage.
Some still suffer from nightmares due to the fear of that deadly night as they cannot stop reliving their near-death experience.