On Thursday I had one of the most bizarre experiences I’ve had in all the years I’ve lived in or visited Turkey – we got caught up in a flood in the centre of Fethiye.
The morning started off grey, wet and gloomy. It was one of those ‘lets stay inside with a hot chocolate and all the lights on’ kind of days – but we had errands to run in preparation for our visit to the village (where I currently am writing this) so we had no choice but to brave the rain and go out. Just as we stepped out of the front door, it really started to rain heavily. Luckily we only had to cross the road to catch the Dolmus into Fethiye, and I remember we were both weaving in and out of the pathway to avoid stepping in puddles, which is ironic considering what we were about to experience!
As the Dolmus reached Fethiye, we realised we may have made a big mistake. The Migros turn off on the main road was flooded, there were cars broken down and the road resembled a giant swimming pool. The dolmus got through and carried on to the last bus stop, next to the mosque on the hill in the town centre…the rain kept falling, along with giant hail stones, and there was a man in the corner shop shouting ‘umbrellas – 10tl’ so we grabbed one. Something tells me he probably sold his entire umbrella stock that day!
We walked down the hill and realised it was flooded, cars were still going past and the water was only an inch deep, just covering our shoes. We carried on walking, as we were attempting to reach Is Bankasi, but the water was rising as we walked, it was pouring out of the school yard, coming up out of the drains and still falling from the sky. By the time we made it to the bank, it was closed for lunch, so Berkay had the idea of going to his friend’s hotel in the Dispanser area of Fethiye – Vizon hotel. This was the worst idea he’s had in a long time. We walked to the hotel, but the water was ever-rising, what started out as an inch deep ended up being knee-deep! We arrived at the hotel where they were struggling to keep the water from gushing through under the doors. We went in, sat down on the floor in our soaking wet clothes and watched as Fethiye town centre became a giant swimming pool right before our eyes. It just keep rising, and rising. The water got so high they could no longer stop it from pouring in under the doors, and after stuffing it with bags, newspaper, towels and attempting to push the water out with a broom, the hotel staff gave up and sat down resigned to the fact that the lobby would inevitably end up very wet. People were driving past in cars, even though it’s a pedestrianized area, which caused little waves to form in the water pushing it inside buildings even further. There was an inch of water covering the majority of the hotel lobby and we were all sat on tables, but they got off pretty lightly compared to the shop across the road (Citlembik, for those of you who know Fethiye) which had an awful lot of water inside.
It was so bizarre to witness, there were news agencies in cars driving past taking photographs, people carrying each other and street dogs, people cycling through the 2ft of water and even council men in wellies and wetsuits driving past in vans helping stranded people get to dry ground! The water rose to the height of the benches and up to the rim of the plant pots which are pretty high. People were standing on them to keep dry.
We were ‘stuck’ in the hotel for over an hour, we couldn’t open the door to get out because that would mean more water pouring in. Eventually, we had no choice as we had to get to the bank, so we braved it and stepped outside, it was pretty dangerous as we couldn’t see the kerbs or steps. The water was murky and dirty, bits of rubbish were floating past, bins, cigarette packets, bricks, even bits of carpets and mats… The weirdest part was the fact that a 30 second walk up the road was clear, with just a few puddles left behind. The rain had stopped and although the drains were still blocked in certain places, others were fine like nothing had happened. We had most definitely been in the wrong place at the wrong time, although it was an experience to say the least. I was documenting it on my Facebook blog page and the videos and photos I posted have been shared by hundreds and viewed over 80,000 times. Click HERE to see one of the videos.
The next day, we went back to Fethiye to get supplies for our journey to Denizli, and you’d never have known the events of the previous day. The sky was blue and the sun was out, there were no puddles, all the shops and businesses were open again and although there was probably water damage in some of them, everything looked ‘normal’ like nothing had happened.
Just another day in paradise!