Heavy inflows aided by huge volume of excess water released from dams and barrages in the Godavari’s upper reaches pushed up the water level in the river by more than 10 feet in a span of 20 hours at Bhadrachalam, since Thursday night.
Water level in the river at the temple town reached 26.50 feet at 6 pm on Friday and continued to swell till reports last came in. The river carried a flood flow of 3.43 lakh cusecs late on Friday evening.
According to an advisory forecast issued by the Lower Godavari Division of the Central Water Commission (CWC), the water level in the river at Bhadrachalam was expected to reach the first flood warning level of 43 feet by Saturday morning.
The official machinery was gearing up to deal with any exigency due to the expected steep rise in the Godavari level at the temple town.
Discharge of excess water from Medigadda (Laxmi) barrage and Sammakka (Tupakulagudem) barrage coupled with the flood from swollen tributaries of the Godavari was expected to bring in a huge volume of inflows of 13 to 14 lakh cusecs by Friday night.
The flood level in the river was likely to cross the first and second flood warning levels of 43 feet and 48 feet before touching the third warning level (danger mark) of 53 feet in the next 24 hours, sources in the Irrigation Department said.
In August last year, the river’s water level reached 61.5 feet at the temple town.
The highest ever water level of 75.6 feet in the Godavari at Bhadrachalam was recorded in 1986.
To effectively address rain-related issues and extend assistance to the needy in the event of flood, the district administration set up a 24X7 control room at the Collectorate (08744-241950) in Kothagudem and launched a WhatsApp helpline number 9392919743.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar conducted a review meeting on the situation arising out of heavy rains and the increasing water level in the Godavari with Collector D Anudeep and other officials in Bhadrachalam.
He asked the officials to remain on high alert and constantly monitor the situation in the areas along the river to prevent loss of life and property in the wake of forecast of heavy rains for two more days.
Mr Anudeep apprised the Minister of the flood preparedness and emergency response measures in place in the flood-prone areas.
He explained the setting up of flood relief camps, arrangements for shifting people living in flood-prone areas to safer places, and deployment of staff, including medical teams, among precautionary measures.