Weather forces early close to offices, schools, universities

Rijkswaterstaat trucks working to clear snowy roads
Rijkswaterstaat trucks working to clear snowy roadsPhoto: @RWS_verkeer / Twitter

Heavy snowfall and a code red weather warning from meteorological institute KMNI forced a number of businesses, schools, daycares and universities to close early on Monday. Despite the miserable weather, traffic information service VID expects few traffic jams during evening rush hour, as many people left for home early or worked from home today.

The University of Amsterdam decided around 2:00 p.m. to cancel classes and send students home, Het Parool reports. The 23 secondary schools under the ZAAM foundation in Amsterdam and its surrounds closed their doors at 1:00 p.m. A number of other schools decided to give their students a snow day, and did not open their doors at all on Monday. 

The Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen and DierenPark Amersfoort also remained closed today due to the snow. Safari park Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek closed at noon. The zoos are all located in forested areas. Which means that in addition to slippery roads and icy walkways, visitors also risk having tree branches fall on their heads.

Nature conservation organization Natuurmonumenten also warned visitors to stay away from nature reserves like Veluwe, Veluwezoom and Achterhoek today, due to the risk of falling branches. "Stay home today. Tomorrow is another day", foresters said to Hart van Nederland.

The Openluchtmuseum was also closed on Monday, because of slippery walkways, Hart van Nederland reports.

Dutch television program De Wereld Draait Door placed a call on Twitter for people to come be part of its live studio audience tonight, free of charge. Due to the weather, many people who bought tickets for tonight canceled. 

Airports in the Netherlands warned of many canceled and delayed flights due to the weather. Rijkswaterstaat urgently advised motorists to stay off the roads. NS called on passengers to go home as early as possible.