Storms leave two dead, scores of damage
A severe storm moved from the southwest across The Netherlands on Monday. The KNMI issued a code red, the highest weather alert, for extreme weather in the west, center and north of the country. The alert was withdrawn around 14:45 pm.In its wake, at least two people died, and several others were injured as the storm left a trail of damage across the country. Public services are making repairs to get back to their regular operations.
Emergency services around the country received numerous reports of damage, including fallen trees. In Amsterdam, a 21-year-old tourist died after a tree fell on her head. Several people were injured in various places, including the passenger of a car that collided with another uprooted tree in Amsterdam.
A 24-year-old man was hit on his head by a falling branch in Veenendaal. He was struck in the morning, and died later in the day in the hospital, reported a police spokesperson.
The railway traffic around Amsterdam is slowly picking up again. In the north of the country, where the storm arrived later in the day, it is expected to take little longer for the situation to get back to normal, according to a spokesperson for the Dutch Railways.
The NS worked to get all stranded passengers home. The rail timetable should be back on Tuesday.
The evening rush around 18:00 showed a total of 175 kilometers of traffic jams, especially in the vicinity of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. On the A1 by Diemen a matrix sign above the reversible lane was dislodged by the wind, causing the strip to be closed as a precaution. A large part of the ring around Amsterdam backed up.
According to the ANWB, a travelers' association in the Netherlands, part of the busy traffic was caused by people being picked up by car when they could not travel by train.
The ferry from Newcastle due at 09.00 Monday morning in the port of IJmuiden was unable to dock due to the strong wind. The ship had to sail back out to sea, and wait until the storm had subsided. When the wind weakened around 14.00, the ferry could re-enter the harbor. It had 1,100 people on board, all of whom made it safely to land.
At the height of the storm, Vlieland measured gusts with force 12. A force 11 was measured for over an hour, which classifies it as a very severe storm, not seen in the Netherlands since January 1990. The highest gust today was 152 kilometers per hour at Lauwersmeer.
In an apartment complex for the elderly in Zuidlaren (Drenthe) a fire of 10 to 15 feet tall incurred when a broken gas line caught fire. The leak was caused by a falling tree. The roots broke the gas line. The fire department and the network operator Enexis extinguished the fire by sealing the line in two places. There were no injuries, but repairs will probably go on until midnight.
In the Groningen province there were at least ten gas leaks, caused by fallen trees, an extreme amount, according to the fire department.