Bagnacavallo area (Bologna)

A visit to the orchards damaged by the flood: video and photo gallery!

Maria and Antonio Gordini are crying bitter tears as they report how the flood of May 3rd 2023 swept away their orchards, damaged their home and destroyed their possessions. This happened to hundreds of families and entrepreneurs in Boncellino (Ravenna), where the Lamone river burst its banks at around 8:40 am on May 3rd, with a huge quantity of water pouring out in the surrounding countryside.

Watch the video!

FreshPlaza has visited the area together with technician Gilberto Ballardini. "The water was overflowing already at 6:30 in the morning and, at around 8:45 am, the river burst its banks and flooded the surrounding fields." The first area inundated by the flood was the apple orchard owned by Maria Gordini (Antonio's sister): a 10-year-old crop of the Golden variety covering around 12 thousand hectares, fully productive and protected with anti-hail nets.

Click here for the photo gallery

Only the posts on one side remain, the rest was swept away. The strength of the water destroyed the road along the bank as well: stones and asphalt were swept for hundreds of meters and now lie on what used to be the apple orchard. The bed of the Lamone river is higher than the city and the water has fallen onto the land from a height of various meters, creating a pit with a depth of over 4 meters.

What is left of an apple orchard covered with anti-hail nets.

"First of all, we would like to thank all volunteers who have been giving us a hand. But we must also think about our orchards: how can we recover from this?" wonders Antonio. 

It has taken almost 6 days of 24h operations to restore the river bank 

If we take the Gordini apple orchard, for example, everything was destroyed. Between 10 and 50 cm of silt, sand and stones lie on the ground. Then there is a huge pile of tangled trees, nets and posts that were stopped by a fence. "Who can help us clear all this and build it all back again? How many years will we spend without income? At least 5, if things go well. How will we survive for 5 years?" 

Antonio Gordini lifts an apple tree swept by the flood

Walking around the streets of Boncellino, there are shells, fish and even dead hares on the ground, giving off a bad rotting smell. People immediately rolled up their sleeves, but it will take months to restore the damage to the houses, with the memory of what happened that will remain etched in the minds of the locals forever. 

"I swam in almost two meters of water to reach the other side of the house, only to discover there was no way out. Someone came to get us with a boat in the afternoon. A helicopter was necessary in another area. I have to say the rescue service was amazing," reports another producer.

A lot could have been done when it comes to prevention. Although the 250 mm of rain that fell in the Lamone drainage basin are indeed an extraordinary event, producers are certain that the damage would not have been as serious without the tall trees in the river. In addition, wild animals such as porcupines and otters should be prevented from digging holes and tunnels, thus weakening the banks.

Finally, all the strengthening work carried out in just a few days between May 4th and May 9th could have been done in previous months (and years) as part of ordinary maintenance. It would have cost much less and the locals would not have experienced such damage.

Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.