First spring storm a fact; dozens of damage reports

Wind knocks over bikes in Amsterdam
Heavy winds caused bikes to topple over in Amsterdam Centrum. January 3, Zack Newmark / NL Times

With an average wind speed of 9 on the Beaufort scale in Vlissingen, the first official spring storm of the year became a fact on Sunday. Local safety offices in Noord-Brabant and Zeeland received dozens of damage reports. In Limburg train traffic was halted because of fallen trees on the tracks. And Eindhoven Airport had to temporarily keep all flights on the ground.

Meteorologists consider it an official storm if the average wind speed over an hour is 9 on the Beaufort scale. The national meteorological institute KNMI issued a code orange warning for the provinces of Zeeland, Zuid-Holland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg. 

Between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. safety office Veiligheidsregio Zuid-Holland-Zuid received over 25 reports of storm damage, reports. This involved loose solar panels, tree branches being blown about, and roof coverings that were blown free. Veiligheidsregio Midden- en West-Brabant had the fire brigade stand ready with maximum equipment and personnel, so that they could respond to all reports. In Zeeland, which was hit by the peak of the storm, the safety office received dozens of damage reports. These involved damage to homes, fallen trees and blown-down traffic signs.

In Geldorp, Noord-Brabant, a man was injured when a tree fell on his car. The man had to be freed from the car. He was taken to hospital with unknown injuries, RTL Nieuws reports. In Tilburg two cars were damaged by a blown-down tree. And in Mechelen in Limburg, emergency services had to move hospice patients to another part of the building after a tree fell on an adjacent home and damaged the roof. In Kerkrade a tree fell on a train, also damaging the overhead lines. The shaken, but unharmed, passengers were escorted off the train by the police. 

Due to the strong winds, no flights departed from Eindhoven Airport for several hours on Sunday. One plane scheduled to land at the airport, had to detour to Germany. Schiphol was also affected by the weather, reporting multiple delays due to the wind. 

The last time there was an official storm in the Netherlands was on January 24th, 2018, according to RTL Nieuws. That is the longest storm-free period the Netherlands had since 2003.

Monday will also be stormy, with strong winds expected across the country. The KNMI issued a code yellow warning starting at 10:00 a.m. Rain will fall across the Netherlands, and maximum temperatures will climb to around 7 degrees.