Kostanai Region Recovers After Flood: Residents Share Personal Experience

ASTANA – Residents of the Kostanai Region, which has been in meltwater since the end of March, are gradually recovering after experiencing the first massive floods in three decades. The last time such floods occurred was in 1994, before the dam construction, Kazinform reported on April 10.

Photo credit: Darya Averchenko/Kazinform. Click to see the map in full size. The map is designed by The Astana Times

During the 1994 floods, private and two-story houses were affected, with water reaching the first floor. Arman Zhakupov, who has lived there since the late 1980s, recalled the Tobol River flooding heavily during that time.

“I remember that the water stood for a long time, and people could not get into their territory,” he said.

Despite the danger of overflowing water, the central bridge connecting the cities of Tobyl and Kostanai remained open until the last minute, saved thanks to the united efforts of volunteers and reinforced by sandbags lining the roadsides. 

“I don’t remember that happening to the embankment and nearby houses,” said local resident Batima, who witnessed such a flood flow for the first time.

A large shopping center, all observation platforms and monuments now lie beneath the water. The marks show that the water is receding.

The floods caused enormous damage to a recreation center located right on the shore, where water flooded the houses up to the roof.

One of the evacuation centers, located at a school gymnasium accommodating 113 people, provided refuge for around 30 evacuees from adjacent areas near the dam.

Pensioner Nadezhda Krasikova expressed gratitude for the strengthened dam, which saved her house from flooding. But not all families were lucky – there were those who had lost everything.

Valentina and Anatoly Zinoviyev lost their country house, which they had lived in since the late 1990s. All their property, from furniture to hand generators, remained under water. Their house was one of the first to be submerged.

“We were promised that help would be provided. Those who lived in country houses were told they would receive housing,” they said.

There are seven evacuation points in the Kostanai Region, with nearly 1,000 beds available. As of April 10, about 134 people had been evacuated to these centers, and Kostanai alone hosts 20 such facilities.

The articles were originally published on the Kazinform agency website here and here.

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