Storm damage estimated at €10 million in Netherlands' first 2018 weather event

Blown down tree lands on a car in Rotterdam, 3 Jan 2017
Blown down tree lands on a car in Rotterdam, 3 Jan 2017. Photo: @VRR_VGZuid / Twitter

With reporting by Zack Newmark.

The Wednesday storm that with wind speeds caused roughly 10 million euros in damage to homes and vehicles, the insurance association Verbond van Verzekeraars (VvV) announced on Thursday. A full year of storms cause physical damage of roughly 50 million euros, a spokesperson told broadcaster NOS.

"With previous storms the situation was busier", said a spokesperson for insurer ASR, noting that more reports could still be filed in connection with the storm. "The reports are mostly about fallen roof panels and fences blown over."

Officially, the only part of the Netherlands classified as a "heavy storm" was the Wadden Sea island of Vlieland, where sustained winds held for about an hour at Beaufort Wind Force Scale 10. Force 10 is between 89 and 102 km/h. Inland, the wind speed mostly held at Force 6, from 39-49 km/h, and Force 7, 50-61 km/h, like a somewhat common autumn storm.

It was the fierce and frequent gusts of the Wednesday storm that were uncommon, and led to considerable damage. "It was a fairly strong storm," VvV spokesperson Rudi Buis said.

First responders reacted to well over a thousand emergency calls for storm damage and flooding on Wednesday, according to website Alarmeringen.nl. The site keeps a live blog of all unencrypted calls to fire fighters, ambulance services, trauma helicopters, police, and coastal units.

Roughly 200 reports were made in the Rotterdam-Rijnmond region, and another 91 incidents were called in to the Midden- and Oost-Brabant region. For southern Zuid-Holland, 85 reports brought a response.

From the information of the website it is possible to see how the storm proceeded and affected the country. The previously mentioned regions had most of their reports from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, while on Wednesday morning and afternoon there was a higher frequency of reports in Amsterdam-Amstelland, Utrecht and southern Limburg.

In Amsterdam fire brigades were mobilized more than 40 times because of the storm. It was mainly due to loose roof panels, fences, banners, and falling tree branches. No severe incidents were reported in the city.

According to Weeronline the storm was mostly finished by 3 p.m.

seven Dutch provinces on Thursday evening and early Friday morning. It could create a problematic rush hour for the southern Randstad, including Rotterdam, Den Haag, and Leiden.

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