BELGRADE ( Associated Press) – Emergency crews in Serbia were searching for two people swept away in a swollen river in the southwestern city, state television RTS reported Thursday.
Heavy rains in the Balkans have caused rivers in Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro to rise dangerously high, inundating some places and threatening flood defenses in others.
Flooding was reported in Kosovo and Albania, where floodwaters filled farmland, blocked roads and caused temporary power outages.
In northern Albania, the local power company had to open gates for the third time in as many months to prevent water from overflowing dams and causing flooding in surrounding areas.
The rain was followed by weeks of unusually warm temperatures for the time of year. A drop in temperature is forecast for the weekend with rain followed by snowfall.
In the city of Novi Pazar in southwestern Serbia, authorities declared a state of emergency due to the overflowing of the Raska river.
RTS said the river swept away two people who were trying to protect their homes with wooden boards and plastic sheets.
There was no official information about the incident. The RTS said a third person fell into the river but was rescued.
In neighboring Montenegro, rescue workers have been searching for two days for a 13-year-old boy who was swept into the Adriatic Sea by a huge wave in the coastal town of Herceg Novi.
Heavy rains in northern Montenegro caused severe flooding in rivers, while strong winds and waves battered coastal areas.
In Bosnia, officials said they were monitoring the flood situation. Dozens of houses have been flooded, but no casualties have been reported.
“We expect the flood to peak during the day, followed by stabilisation,” said Majda Kovac, a hydrology official in Bosnia.
In 2014, widespread flooding in the region resulted in dozens of deaths and submerged entire towns.