Storms cause major traffic headaches, flooding

Roads flooded after severe storms (Picture: Twitter/@Firemansnip). (Roads flooded after severe storms (Picture: Twitter/@Firemansnip))

The code orange weather warning for extremely dangerous weather has been lifted after the severe storms that hit parts of the Netherlands on Sunday night. The storms were accompanied by thunder, lightning, hail and strong winds and resulted in flooding, traffic problems and even a few fires.

Particularly the Betuwe and the area of the Drechtsteden were hit hard by heavy rainfalls, the Volkskrant reports. According to weather site Weeronline, Zaltbommel got 80 mm of rain over the past 24 hours. Other places were also affected by heavy rainfalls. Hardinxveld-Giessendam got 78 mm in 24 hours. Zeeland, Achterhoek and Twente all got 30 to 50 mm of rain.

A parking garage of an apartment building in Nijmegen was flooded, leaving between 100 and 120 cars under water, NOS reports. The fire department will be pumping the water out of the garage, but this will take several hours. The residents of the apartment building were not evacuated. No one was injured, though one man spent 45 minutes stuck in an elevator.

The fire department received more than 280 reports of storm damage or flooding through the P2000 system between 7:00 p.m. on Sunday and 7:00 a.m. on Monday. Most calls came from the regions Zuid-Holland-Zuid and Gelderland Zuid. The historic mill De Ooievaar in Terwolde, Gelderland burned down completely after being struck by lightning. The fire department in Zuid-Holland-Zuid even instructed the public to only call 112 in an emergency. "We can do relatively little about water that enters homes through the sewers", a spokesperson said to the Volkskrant.

The aftermath of the storms also caused a number of traffic problems on Dutch roads on Monday morning. Among others, motorists on the A6 towards Muiden got stuck in a 17 kilometer traffic jam due to water on the road. Water on the A15 between Rotterdam and Hardinxveld-Giessendam also resulted in a 10 kilometer traffic jam. The A4 at Steenbergen had to be closed because the road was flooded.

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, the KNMI, has issued a code yellow weather warning for thunderstorms covering the whole country for Monday afternoon. Storms may be accompanied by hail and strong winds. The warning will be in effect between 3:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.