The rains that arrived in Porto Alegre on Tuesday gave little respite in the last few days. Roads were flooded, mainly in the Far South and North Zone of the city, in addition to the Islands region, which is the most worrying. The level of Guaíba, which reached the third highest in history, is already stable and tends to decrease. A last reading at Cais Mauá was 2.62m. As a result, the capital’s city hall announced that it will declare a state of emergency this Friday.
The Municipal Department of Water and Sewage (Dmae) is alert regarding the levels and prepared if it becomes necessary to close the floodgates, but emphasizes that it is currently under control. Mayor Sebastião Melo stated that the city hall carries out daily essments, morning and afternoon. It was he himself who warned that A state of emergency will be declared in the city this Fridayto facilitate replacement purchases for items that have been damaged.
The mayor reported that there are no longer shelters in the location available in Ponta Grossa, but the indigenous people remain in Lami and there are still people staying in the church on Ilha da Pintada. The essment is that the city hall is housing around 60 people at the moment.
A survey will be carried out on families who lost everything due to this week’s heavy rains, aiming for specific istance from the city hall for this part of the population. A “differentiated tab” for the housing bonus – an easy purchase that takes around three months to complete – will be created. “Remove bureaucracy so that people accept this isted purchase and leave these precarious places”, summarizes the mayor. The measure aims mainly to ist people who are afraid of vacating their homes.
According to meteorological forecasts, the change in wind that occurred on Thursday night helps push the waters towards the coast. Therefore, The expectation is that there will be no flooding in the city. Melo esses that there are parts of the Capital that are normal, and the city hall pays attention to all areas, “but it is time to look especially at those who need it most”.
Asked about the repetition of problems that had already occurred with the extratropical cyclone which hit the city in June, Melo stated that the matter “deserves reflection”. He argues that the federal government is the executive that has the most funds and, therefore, needs to have a crisis policy, which encompes state and municipal networks, for joint action. But he recognizes that city halls must do their part and “maybe they have to do a little more”.
Regarding prevention, the mayor stated that it is not a priority in Brazil and that there are difficulties in recovery. You need to have politics, money and planning, he says. For him, it is necessary to prioritize the most serious situations, as there is no way to cover everything. The mayor states that “it is not enough to welcome, it is necessary to restore public space”.
Regarding actions to improve the capital’s drainage, Melo responded that there are measures to be taken, but did not detail any projects. And he stated that an item sought since the beginning of his administration is the “partnership” of Dmae, to invest in urban drainage with the value of the measure. He says that experts estimate that it would take around R$4 billion to resolve the city’s flooding. According to Melo, the city hall has already invested R$25 million since 2021 in cleaning streams.
The mayor highlights that another big problem is the portion of the population that dirty the streets, and the municipal authorities try to keep them clean. He invites citizens to a reflection on individual waste disposal actions. “I am a mayor who takes great care of the city’s care,” he guarantees, inviting the population to join in the care of Porto Alegre’s roads.