Монологи на английском языке с текстом и переводом. №24. Тема: Счастливое спасение во время наводнения в Праге.

I was at work when I heard the news on TV. It had been pouring with rain for several days and I could see that the River Vltava was swollen. Now it appeared that there was a real danger that the river would overflow. All of us who lived or worked near the river were being advised to get out and move to a place of safety.
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My office is in the centre of Prague only a hundred metres from the river bank and I live in a flat in a small town just a few kilometres north of Prague, right on the banks of the River Vltava, so I was in danger both at c work and at home.
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My wife and baby were at my flat, so I did the sensible thing and went home immediately. I packed my wife and my child into the car and I drove them to her parents' house. They would be completely safe there. So far, so good! But then I stopped being sensible, and I jumped back into the car and went back to our flat.
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Why did I do that? I told myself that it was because I was afraid of looters breaking into our flat and stealing things, but the truth was that I felt that I wanted to be in the middle of things, to be involved in what was a happening.
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I stayed up all night watching the TV bulletins. They were giving regular reports on how fast the water level was rising at various places throughout the Czech Republic. There was a journalist reporting from just down the road from where I was, north of Prague, so I could sit in my sitting room and watch the danger increase as the minutes passed, but I still didn't move.
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I suppose I had a kind of perverse desire to be the last person to leave our block of flats. I could hear cars starting up and setting off all evening, and from time to time I looked out at our car park and I could see that it was almost empty. At about three in the morning, my car was the only one left in the car park and my nerves gave out - or maybe I just came to my senses, because I finally decided to get into the car and escape.
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The roads towards Prague were flooded, so I decided to try to get to a relative's house, which was a few kilometres away in the opposite direction, away from the river. I tried various escape routes but even these roads were impassable now. I was about to give up - I thought I'd left it too late.
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On my last attempt, I drove until I met another car which was blocking the road. The road ahead was flooded, but the driver of the other car was wading into the water to see how deep it was. He said he thought he could make it, so I decided to follow him. The water was rising quickly now, but he drove really really slowly through the water and I felt a bit impatient.
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Anyway, he managed to get through the water safely. I followed him, but I went much more quickly. Water was coming into the car under the door, and the engine made a funny noise like a cough a couple of times, but I got through and finally arrived safely at my relative's house.
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I was one of the lucky ones. My office escaped the flood and my flat wasn't damaged at all as it's on the third floor. But the poor people who lived on the ground floor - their flats were very badly damaged. They had been completely under water.
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