After six months’ worth of rain fell in a day and a half, more than 20 rivers in Italy burst their banks, displacing 13,000 people from their homes and resulting in nine fatalities.
Between Rimini on the northeast coast and Bologna, 115 kilometers (70 miles) away, nearly all rivers flooded.
Overnight, there were another 280 landslides and further evacuations were mandated.
“It was a very bad 48 hours. Water and mud took over our whole village,” said Roberta Lazzarini, 71.
Her home of Botteghino di Zocca, south of Bologna, was hit by a torrent on Wednesday. Streets, houses and gardens were inundated and Roberta said she was still scared.
“I’ve never seen anything like that here. We were stuck and didn’t know what to do. I just hope it doesn’t happen again.”
Firefighters helped residents flee their houses, including a 97-year-old woman who had to leave her bedroom in a rubber dinghy.
Stefano Bonaccini, regional president of the Emilia-Romagna region, said the damage costs ran into billions of euros.
Overnight, evacuations were ordered in towns to the west of Ravenna. Residents in Villanova were ordered to seek shelter on upper floors, a day after floodwater cascaded through the historic centre of Lugo.
Lugo was flooded again on Thursday, as was Cervi, on the coast.