After a week of heavy rains over Porto and further upstream in the Douro, last night saw high water and partial flooding in the lower lying area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Reaching its highest at around 3 o’clock in the morning, the water crept to within inches of the shop fronts and Port lodges on the quays. However, by 9.30, the water had receded to the just below the level of the street (pictured) and an impressive current was visibly carrying the water out to sea.
While floods are relatively common in Porto, now due to the construction of successive dams on the river throughout the 20th century, they have become fewer and less destructive. The dams allow some degree of control over the water coming from the Douro catchment area, and only release when it is safer to do so.
Graham’s is not in a position to worry too much however, as our lodge, constructed in 1890, is located about 50 meters above sea level, and as such is not in danger from flooding.