May 15, 2014 / 3:15 PM / 6 years ago

Floods halt two Serbian hydro power plants

Firefighters evacuate people during floods in Zenica May 15, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Serbian power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) said on Thursday high water levels on the Morava river have forced it to halt two hydro power plants with a combined capacity of 34 megawatts.

The heaviest rains and floods in 120 years hit Serbia and Bosnia this week, killing three people, cutting off electricity and leaving several towns and villages isolated.

EPS said it has introduced emergency measures and mobilized teams to monitor the situation at its facilities. Flooding has disrupted production in two mines supplying major coal-fired power plants.

The utility’s other hydro power plants are operating normally, although EPS said it had to open flood gates at its biggest hydro power plant Djerdap 1 on the Danube river.

The utility said it would to do the same on the Djerdap 2 hydro plant later in the day, which would cause an increase in Danube water levels near the border with Bulgaria.

EPS acting general manager Aleksandar Obradovic said in a statement that he has ordered the EPS trading unit to prepare for the possible need for electricity imports.

Authorities in Serbia said that around 100,000 households have been cut off from power as heavy rainfall and flooding disrupted power stations, while in neighboring Bosnia more than 50,000 households suffered power cuts.

Weather services showed forecasts for the rain, which began on Tuesday, to continue through the rest of week.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela; editing by Michael Kahn and Keiron Henderson

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