Storms cause flooding in many parts of Netherlands

Parents walking with kids participating in the second night of the Avond Vierdaagse in Amsterdam Oost, despite the Code Orange storm warning, 29 May 2018
Parents walking with kids participating in the second night of the Avond Vierdaagse in Amsterdam Oost, despite the Code Orange storm warning, 29 May 2018. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

Thunderstorms that drew across the Netherlands on Tuesday afternoon and evening caused flooding in many parts of the country, especially in the Rotterdam region. The storms prompted meteorological institute KNMI to issue a code orange weather warning - dangerous weather - for the entire country except the Wadden islands.

The showers were very scattered throughout the country and fell so locally that some places in Utrecht and Zeeland didn't even notice the bad weather, while other places faced flooded streets, NU.nl reports. The A20 was completely closed at Schiedam due to flooding and an accident. Photos on social media show a large pool of rainwater on the highway. Around 10:00 p.m. only two lanes were still closed.

Neighboring municipalities like Ridderkerk and Hellevoetsluis also dealt with flooded streets. The local safety office received 13 reports of flooding in a matter of minutes, according to the newspaper. Most cases involved flooded homes. In Barendrecht a part of a warehouse collapsed under the downpour. No one was injured. 

A resident of Terwolde in Gelderland was injured when strong winds blew a tree over onto his house. The fire brigade in Deventer received 40 reports of storm damage in a short period of time. Most of the reports involved fallen trees and damaged cars.

According to the KNMI, some places saw 50 millimeters of rain per hour on Tuesday. Weeronline reports that Milingen aan de Rijn in Gelderland saw the most rain with 72 millimeters - well above the 61 millimeters that falls per month on average. The strongest gust of wind registered at 93.3 kilometers per hour in Ruurlo.

Tuesday was also the first official tropical day of the year. It was 30.7 degrees Celsius in De Bilt at 2:40 p.m. It was also the warmest May 29th since temperature measurements started in the Netherlands in 1901. The previous heat record dates from 1944, when temperatures climbed to 30 degrees exactly in De Bilt. 

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