Governor says Erbil 'avoided flooding'

Footage shows submerged vehicles in Erbil

ERBIL — Gov. Omed Khoshnaw of Erbil announced today that the city has not experienced any flood incidents this year, despite footage of heavily waterlogged roads circulating on social media.

The statement comes as multiple roads in Erbil experience severe waterlogging and disruption. Live video footage in Erbil’s Saidawa posted on social media have shown cars submerged deep under water with only the tips of rooftops visible. Local eyewitnesses say there are people inside some of these cars, though 964media has not been able to verify this.

Compared with the last few years, the governor noted that Erbil has received more rainfall but has successfully avoided floods. He attributes this to significant government investments in flood prevention measures.

Addressing concerns related to the Erbil-Khabat road, the condition of which is a widespread local grievance – especially following recent heavy rains – the governor said repair works are being managed in three phases involving three contractors.

Over the past two years, the government has approved 40 billion dinars ($26 million) for flood prevention strategies, with an additional 18.5 billion dinars allocated toward eliminating flood risks. Furthermore, 24 projects are currently underway to mitigate flooding and improve water drainage.

Khoshnaw also highlighted progress in the construction of four dams designed to enhance the region’s flood resilience. Two of these, the Chermga and Aquban dams, have been completed, while the Gomespan Dam is 65% finished.

The governor confidently stated, “There is no risk of drought this year,” following a spell of rainfall across the Kurdistan Region over the past two days, expected to continue through Saturday.

Erbil was forecast to receive 60 mm of rainwater Thursday as many districts across the Kurdistan Region announced public holidays in anticipation of heavy rainfall.

Much of the rainfall forecast for Erbil was yet to come as Khoshnaw made these comments.