Code red warning issued for heavily flooded Limburg; Residents told to avoid calling 112
Meteorological office KNMI upgraded its continuing weather warning for heavy rain in the province of Limburg to the most-severe Code Red. "Some thunderstorms are moving across the east and southeast. These showers can also bring a lot of rain in a short time," the KNMI said.
The alert will likely remain in place until 3 a.m. before it is downgraded to Code Orange. The heavy rainfall is expected through 6 p.m. on Thursday. It extended warnings to Noord-Brabant and Gelderland for Wednesday night.
Flooding all across the southern portion of Limburg was causing an overload to the regions emergency services offices. Emergency services has asked people to remain home as much as possible, to avoid rivers and waterways, and to only call 112 in "acute or life-threatening" situations.
"We knew there would be a lot of water and a lot more is coming," said Hans Verheijen, the Mayor of Sittard-Geleen, to NOS. To assist with the situation, the Defense Ministry dispatched military personnel to the region.
"The military is also providing special vehicles so that transport remains possible where it is not possible due to the large amount of water," the Limburg-Zuid Security Region said.
There was a fear that a flood buffer in Hoensbroek will break through. "In that case, a wave would be created in which water flows out with great force," the security office stated. People were also told to take special precautions in the municipalities along the Gulp and Geul rivers, as they can overflow their banks.
Residents of Gulpen-Witten, Meerssen, Vaals, and Valkenburg aan de Geul were told to avoid flooded streets, avoid contact with rainwater and sewage, and to bring loose objects indoors. They were also told to install sandbags and barriers, and to use duct tape for emergency repairs to prevent water from seeping in.
"It is still uncertain what exactly will happen, but the heavy rainfall is expected to continue," the security office said. "Take measures and help each other as much as possible."
Seventy soldiers will initially assemble in Sittard. There, they can help with anything the Limburg-Zuid Security Region needs, like filling sandbags. They were sent from the barracks in Oirschot, and will remain on duty for 24 hours.
Dit is de huidige situatie ter hoogte van de #A79 👇 De weg is nog steeds dicht. Op de hoogte blijven van de actuele situatie? Check hier het artikel: https://t.co/Izz7W6gBVD. #codeoranje— Rijkswaterstaat Verkeersinformatie (@RWSverkeersinfo) July 14, 2021
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