Floods damage homes, shops

Heavy rainfall in parts of northern Greece caused flooding in a number of homes and shops while also destroying farm areas, authorities said yesterday. Dozens of homes were flooded in the Macedonia region after a stream overflowed its banks, while torrential rainfall also caused flooding in villages near Thessaloniki. Firefighters received 18 calls for help to pump out water from flooded basements. In the nearby Halkidiki peninsula – part of which was devastated by a huge forest fire last month – several street-level shops and warehouses were flooded. Local officials said that cotton crops and vineyards were among the hardest hit by the bad weather. Authorities are expected to assess the overall damage in the areas over the next few days. The Meteorological Service forecast that rains would continue in northern Greece today but the weather will improve over the weekend.