A sudden and unpredictable water bomb, sure. But among the causes of the devastating flood that hit the Marche on September 15 there is also neglect and the failure to carry out works in defense of the territory. Like one expansion tank along the Misa to protect Senigallia: the first project dates back to 1982 and despite the funds already allocated, the work has not yet been completed.
An expansion tank on the Misa: the first project in 1982
The Misa flooded on Thursday 15 September, causing devastation in the municipalities of Arcevia, Barbara, Ostra, Trecastelli and Senigallia. 11 the deaths ascertained so far from the flood.
The watercourse that flows into Senigallia is a torrential river 45 kilometers long: unpredictable, it can greatly increase its range in a short time. And it already is flooded several times in recent decades: in 1940, 1955, 1976 and 2014.
It is therefore necessary to intervene and carry out hydraulic works capable of avoiding floods, or at least reducing their devastating effects. The first project for an expansion tank dates back to 1982 to protect Senigallia from the floods of the Misa.
The project initially envisaged a large 3 million cubic meter capacity tank, which was then reduced to 800,000 cubic meters, in the hamlet of Bettolelle, about 8 kilometers from the mouth. They came allocated 4 billion lirelater transferred to the province of Ancona, but the work remained on paper.
An image of the 2014 flood in Senigallia
Misa, other projects after the flood of 2014
The May 3, 2014 the Misa came out again from the banks in Senigallia: a wave of water and mud overwhelmed the city, causing the death of three people. And there was talk of securing the territory, the entire Misa drainage basin.
“They rearranged the tributaries, cleaned the riverbed of trees and shrubs and strengthened the embankments”, recalled the then mayor of Senigallia Maurizio Mangialardinow a regional councilor of the opposition.
The government and the Marche region went to work. Just in 2014 the executive led by Matteo Renzi had created the Mission structure against hydrogeological instability led by Erasmo D’Angelis.
Other hydraulic works projects were made: the regional council headed by Luca Ceriscioli of the Democratic Party sent the plans for six expansion tanks along the course of the Misa. The structure of Palazzo Chigi allocated 45.2 million..
The phantom works
Despite the money already allocated, those projects have not yet seen the light, between delays and bureaucracy. Five years were needed to announce the tender for the first tank. In the meantime, the Conte government had closed the mission structure, leaving the Region alone.CopyAMP code
The former governor of the Marches goes to Repubblica Ceriscioli he explains that “the works had to be dealt with by the Province, then they passed to the Region because the Provinces were abolished, then to the reclamation consortium”. Added to this, he adds, “the slowdowns due to the Anac controls, the protests of the committees, the difficulty in carrying out expropriations”.
Funds cut and work started
In 2020 the guide of the Marche Region passes to Francesco Acquaroli of Brothers of Italy. Among his first measures as commissioner for the fight against hydrogeological instability was the cancellation of regional funding (4 million allocated by Ceriscioli).
The process for the expansion tank on the Misa continued, amidst various delays and setbacks. After another two years, last April the construction site has finally been opened in Bettolelle. If the deadlines are respected, the work will be completed in 2023. 43 years after the first project.
It will now be up to the Procuratorate of Ancona which has opened an investigation into the flood to shed light on the delays and possible negligence on the you miss works which could have reduced the effects of the Misa flood.
The arrest, which took place two months ago, of a regional official suspected of receiving bribes for rig up maintenance contracts ordinary of rivers, including the Misa.
Photo Source: ANSA