Ten years have passed since the disastrous floods in Moravia and Silesia in July 1997. It brought about 50 casualties, thousands of human fates stigmatized forever, and immense material losses. The attitude of the media and community to meteorological and hydrological phenomena was entirely changed by the event and they are now paid much more attention than in the past. It was concluded after evaluating the extremity of high waters in 1997 that such flood events occur e.g. on the upper Morava R. reach on average once in 800 years, on the Morava River in Olomouc and on the Opava River in Opava once in 500 years, etc. The floods of 1997 were also an impulse for the rising interest in historical flood events. In the search of past analogies to this disaster in the Czech territory it was demonstrated that high waters at least approximately comparable with those in June 1997 occurred in the upper Elbe R. watershed last in 1897, in the Vltava R. watershed last in 1890 and in the Czech part of the Odra R. watershed last in 1880. The situation of the Morava River basin is however not so simple since there is no analogy to the flood event of 1997 to be determined so far in the whole range of historical floods. The year 1997 is entirely singular in the fact that violent flood waves occurred at the same time within an unusually vast territory. A certain analogy - but only for the Becva River basin and to a smaller extent also for the upper reach of the Morava River - might be the above mentioned high water of August 1880. At that time, several days lasting rains affected an extensive area especially in Moravian-Silesian border regions. Most abundant atmospheric precipitation was recorded in the Beskyds Mts. The rains caused floods of particularly large extent in the Odra River basin, namely in its upper section. It was one of the greatest flood disasters affecting this territory in the 19th century. Before the flood event of July 1997 this case from 1880 was considered the most severe natural disaster ever occurring in the Ostrava region. Similarly, on the Becva River, the largest left-bank tributary of Morava R., the high water in August 1880 is taken for the largest flood event occurring in the region before 1997. Its impact can be documented by the fact that it was surpassed only after 117 years.
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