Budapest Sun
Flood breaks records

Apr. 27, 2000

The Tisza shattered all records by reaching its highest level in 500 years. But that wasn't the only thing being broken. Three men have been sentenced to prison for trying to sabotage flood protection.

The court of Szolnok sentenced one man to three and a half years in prison because he punctured the tire of a tractor building dikes.The man reportedly damaged the vehicle after a quarrel with its driver.

Two other men were sentenced to six and 10 months in prison for stealing sandbags to be used for garbage collection.

After a sudden shortage of sandbags during the middle of last week a large number of plastic bags arrived from France, Switzerland, Norway, the Ukraine, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Italy. By last Friday, more than 8.1 million sandbags were being used to reinforce and raise the dikes along the Tisza.

With 18,000 people on the dikes every day, the daily costs for flood protection reached as high as Ft800 million ($2.9 million) by the middle of last week. Evacuation was ordered in 16 villages but only a few hundred people left their properties.

Original article