Waterboards start closing dikes as storm blows across Netherlands

Crowds jamming Amsterdam buses on a windy day, 8 Jan 2019
Crowds jamming Amsterdam buses on a windy day, 8 Jan 2019Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

Waterboards in the northern parts of the country have started closing dikes as a stormy wind blows across the Netherlands on Tuesday. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow weather warning for a large part of the country. The strong winds warning is in effect until at least 9:00 p.m.

The northern waterboards already closed the dike passages at Delfzijl and are monitoring all dikes, NU.nl reports. The boards expect that the water level at Delfzijl will peak around 12:50 p.m. at 4.20 meters above NAP. Dike passages are always closed when water levels rise to 3 meters above NAP. 

On Monday the Groningen water authority Noorderzijlvest already called on the public to stop using the dike at Delfzijl due to the expected high water level. The strong wind in combination with the spring tide creates a risk that the contents of sea containers that fell of a ship in the North Sea last week will damage the dikes. 

In Friesland the water board is also extra alert to extra junk that can wash up onto the dikes, according to the newspaper. Dike keepers are keeping a close eyes on dikes between Zurich and Lauwersoog, and if necessary also on the islands. 

Precautionary measures were taken at the dike strengthening works ongoing in Texel and Den Oever. Public works department Rijkswaterstaat closed the Den Oever lock and the gully at Kornwerderzand. 

Especially te coastal provinces are affected by the strong winds on Tuesday. The gusts of wind are accompanied by heavy showers in various places. In the course of the afternoon, the weather will clear up somewhat,, according to Weerplaza.

KLM canceled 159 return flights at Schiphol on Tuesday due to the weather conditions. Schiphol also warns of delays and cancelations. Travelers are advised to check their flight status before leaving for the airport.