Most of the time, we just have to stay out of the way and save what we can when nature unleashes its wrath through calamities such as flooding. However, as it turns out, brilliant engineering may help us deal with some natural obstacles.
As the city of Grein in Austria began experiencing flooding from the Danube River a few years back, its officials and those of the other Austrian territories that were in danger of a direct hit quickly sought technology that would ensure the safety of their citizens and locales. They had demountable or mobile flood walls installed.
Fantastic feature: The flood can’t get into the city!
A UK-based company called Flood Resolution Co. Ltd. dissects the technology behind the mobile flood walls. First off, the system is composed of two main parts: permanently built solid foundations and removable mobile barriers.
The company explains, “The system is based on an underground wall, protecting an area against groundwater that rises simultaneously with the level of flood waters. The depth of the underground wall is based on a bedrock and subsequently determines the height of the barrier.”
The mobile floodwalls showcase brilliant engineering.
The underground wall is reinforced with concrete before parts of the system are equipped with elaborate mechanized wall fittings that can hold back water.
This is what the wall looks like when there’s no flood.
A paper done by the company IBS Tehcnics revealed that “the highest and most spectacular mobile flood wall was completed in December 2010 in Grein, with a total barrier height of 3.6 meters on a base wall that’s one meter high.”
When flooding is imminent, stop planks are placed between the columns to form the wall.
The paper further revealed, “The system protects the land behind it to a flood level of 4.6 meters at the upstream end of the site — a height which is equal to the upper storeys of the adjacent properties.”
Talk about holding back the river.
The flood protection measures in the municipality of Grein were erected within the scope of the Machland Dam project as one of a total of six mobile flood wall sections. The main protection measures for the Machland Dam were declared as completed on August 25, 2012.
It must be cool to see this up close.
In June 2013, the mobile flood walls gained fame for being so effective. The video below captures an otherwise-scary moment that was prevented by the mobile flood walls.
Other countries should adopt this technology as well.
If anything, these mobile flood walls prove that technology can literally be a lifesaver.