The heavy rain in recent days have caused the flooding of Calle Aries in Nueva Andalucia. / SUR

Marbella stream floods road forcing residents to use boat to access their properties

Heavy rains cut off the main access to the Aloha area in Nueva Andalucía for several hours, where there are several hundred homes

ESTHER GÓMEZ

The intense rain that has fallen in recent days in Marbella has caused the flooding of Calle Aries in the Nueva Andalucía area, near the 9 Lions Residences residential complex, which left several vehicles trapped in the water and cut off access to an area of the town where several hundred residents live. Some were forced to use a boat to cross the floodwaters to access their properties.

Residents did not hide their anger with the town council, which they blame for not solving an old problem that has been repeated for years every time it rains heavily. The increase in the flow of a stream in the hills of Aloha and a house built on its riverbed are beleived to be the source of the overflows that flood the road that serves more than 500 homes in Nueva Andalucía.

"The flooding of the stream is something that the town hall is very aware of", the manager of the 9 Lions Residences residential complex, Kalinka Latcheva, explained to SUR, and this "happens because the concrete pipes that carry the water under the road also pass under the houses to the other side of the road in line with the stream”.

Latcheva points out that they know that "there is no easy solution to the problem" of flooding, but they complain that the town council has “looked the other way and passed the file from one person to another without coming up with a definitive solution.

The council admits that the problem goes back a long time but assured it is working on it. Although it does not know the exact cause, the council suspect that "the pipes were blocked or damaged during the construction of a house higher up”, said the manager of 9 Lions Residences. Latcheva emphasises that "it is totally contrary to current regulations to allow any construction on a river or stream bed, even if it is channelled." However, the house is there and has had an urban planning license for many years and, residents claim, it was issued during one of the dark days in Marbella in which the late former mayor Jesús Gil was at the head of the council.

The town hall has confirmed that the procedure to expropriate this building has already begun but it is a process "that takes time".