On Rua Major Afonso Palla, restaurants and shops now have a system of floodgates to prevent water from entering, in case there is a repeat of the floods suffered on 7 and 13 December last year, which caused 19 million euros worth of damage to municipal infrastructures and businesses due to the bad weather, according to Oeiras Town Hall, in the Lisbon district.
Lucas Rosa, a restaurant manager, told Lusa about the night of the first flood, 7 December 2022, when "the house was full" of customers and "in a matter of 20 to 30 minutes" the water rose a metre inside the restaurant.
After seven days of cleaning "and a lot of things lost", they opened their doors again, but the rain fell again on the night of 12-13 December, even more intensely, and Rua das Statuas and neighbouring Damião de Góis flooded again, with the water rising above the level of the previous week.
What they had managed to save was then lost that early morning. "It was a huge loss for the restaurant, we lost around 100,000 euros here, and now we're scared again. Now it's December, the rainy season," said Lucas Rosa, pointing out that the restaurant has done some work to contain the water, but he still doesn't know if it will work.
The Pescacerta shop didn't escape the flood last December either. Carla Ferreira, owner of the shop, said that it was a "very difficult" period, with 20 days of hard work and "nothing being 100 percent", having been open at half capacity and only now, after some work and improvements, has the space returned to normal.
Carla Ferreira told Lusa about the huge investment made at the beginning of 2022 until the space reopened in March, with "all new equipment and the shop renovated", and then months later everything literally fell apart: "Everything was completely destroyed".
She also considered that the floodgates could "prevent it at the front" of the shops, but we are still "afraid", especially of the sewers and what might come up through the basements, as happened last year.