Friday, 6 December 2013 - 12:24
Winterklaas! Storm damage est. €5-10mil.
High winds, sleet, hail, rain and lightening teemed down on the Netherlands throughout the afternoon yesterday, as hundreds of grown men around the country dressed up as Sinterklaas to hand out gifts to children. Storm damage in the Netherlands was determined to be "relatively moderate," and estimated between €5 and €10 million, according to a Dutch insurance organization. A break in an emergency dike along the Oude Maas in Zuid Holland led to flooding in the region. Workers are driving around Rotterdam's Noordereiland neighbourhood in trucks mounted with bullhorns to warn people of knee-high water levels and other dangers in the area. Flooding has also been seen around het Bolwerk, Leuvehoofd, Maasboulevard, Oosterkade and Willemskade in the city's Scheepvaartkwartier, just across the Nieuwe Maas river from Noordereiland. Sinterklaas fighting the wind in Amsterdam's Zeeburg neighbourhood yesterday (photo: Zack Newmark) First responders were dispatched to 4,585 calls yesterday, less than half the number of emergency calls reported in the October 28 storm, according to Alarmeringen.nl. The call volume began to spike in the afternoon, and 2,677 of calls were made between 16:00 and 22:00 alone. By the end of the day, 196 calls came from Rotterdam, 165 from Amsterdam, and almost 96 from Hilversum. In Zeeland, emergency crews are also dealing with a water level nearly four meters above sea level. The local water board says this is the highest water level seen in Zeeland since the early 1953 North Sea Flood, when a windstorm caused dykes around the southern province to break. The deaths of 1,836 people is attributed to the flooding, which caused the evacuation of over 70,000 people. Groups of people showed up at Central Station in Amsterdam to learn their train was cancelled (Photo: Zack Newmark) Winds on the Frisian Islands sustained at force ten on the official Beaufort scale, with gusts registering even higher at 107 km/h (66 mph). The storm led to the cancellation of flights to and from the airports in the Netherlands. Railway tracks north of the Amsterdam-Zwolle line were deserted when the NS and Arriva cancelled trains at 14:00. These train lines gradually came online again in the evening. All routes were in service again by 22:00. Passenger and cargo ferries to and from the Frisian Islands, and to Newcastle, England, were also interrupted.