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Czechs on flood alert

Floodwaters in parts of Europe are easing -- but Czech news isn't as good.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | January 4, 2003

Floodwaters that inundated some parts of Europe this week are easing -- but the news isn't as good in the Czech Republic.

That country saw widespread flood alerts Saturday. Prague -- which is still recovering from last summer's floods, the worst in nearly 200 years -- may escape a second round of devastation, according to forecasters.

But residents in the town of Usti nad Labem, some 60 miles northwest of Prague, were piling sandbags to try to save their homes and buildings. The nearby Elbe River was not expected to crest until Sunday.

All 220 residents in the town of Vestec were forced to flee Saturday when the Mrlina River burst its banks.

Meanwhile, parts of Europe were mopping up from this week's floods and 125-mph winds. Seven people died when floodwaters inundated roads and homes in Germany, France, Britain, Portugal, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands.

Like the Czech Republic, Germany saw devastating floods last summer, when rivers rose to record highs.

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