By Alberto Vieira:
The circumstances here in Madeira were disastrous Saturday but the dramatic flash floods that have feature in the news headlines were limited to specific areas, so fortunately the majority of Madeira is functioning normally and the airport is fully operational. In the north part of the island nothing remarkable happened.
Some of the Levadas are closed, due to landslides. But before Saturday some of them were already closed. Clients can ask at hotel reception which ones are closed.
Except in the center of Funchal, all around the island, restaurants, shops, places to visit, hotels everything is working normal.
The main problem was Funchal and the downtown, also Ribeira Brava. In the center of Funchal and Ribeira Brava, the rivers just didn’t hold the all water from the rains and the situation if few hours become horrible. The water cross to the roads and took everything with it. The result was floods in the basements of many buildings, specially the shoppings and the underground parking places.
Also in some small country places in Funchal, and Ribeira Brava some landslides occur, destroying some houses and roads, but that’s not a touristic area or even a place to visit.
In only 8 hours it rained more than in the whole month in Funchal.
Records of such a scenario, only in the year 1803. This was a very uncharacteristic rainy day.
Clean up crews are in the streets 24h/day. Some zones will need a few more days to clean up, but by the end of the week in Funchal almost everything will be working under normal conditions.
In the rest of the island, some landslides occur, closing some roads, but nothing very severe. The freeway and the highway are 100% drivable and normal, except in the village of Ribeira Brava the roads are with some mud and dirty, but it’s possible to pass. I think tomorrow it will not be totally clean, but Wednesday it will be operational.
Authorities already informed that are starting to work on Flower Festival for April. No cancellations of touristic programs were made. Every efforts are being made to recover the city to is normal life. Tourist who will visit us in the second week of March will not recognize any difference in the city.