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A flash flood that hit the Livorno area of northern Italy on Friday threatened to force the evacuation of seven U.S. military families at an off-base military housing area because of flooded homes and power outages, an Army official said.

Military public works department personnel were sent with pumps to try to rid the homes of water, but because the families were without electricity, Army officials left the choice of whether to stay or leave their homes up to the families, base spokeswoman Joyce Costello said.

The housing office found temporary lodging for the families, totaling about 35 members including several children, at one of the two Camp Darby hotels or in the base’s recreational log cabins, she said.

A flood warning was issued Friday at 1:50 p.m. for the areas of Livorno, Marina di Pisa and Pisa. The storm wreaked havoc throughout the area, flooding underpasses and causing traffic problems.

No U.S. military personnel were reported injured, Costello said. Italian authorities had closed many of the area’s roads for safety reasons, she said.

The parking lot at the Camp Darby post exchange flooded Friday, with one car submerged to its bumper, she said.

"It was a low-rider but, still, it was covered," she said.

The flooding did not affect base operations, but personnel were given the go-ahead to leave work earlier than usual, she said.

Camp Darby is about three miles from the sea.

"The nature of our soil is very sandy" and conducive to flooding, Costello said.


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