Heavy rains leave Limburg flooded; Some showers expected today
Heavy rains overnight left multiple places in the province of Limburg flooded. Valkenburg seemed to face the worst, where a nursing home had to be evacuated and two power outages left some 433 households without power. The town may face food shortages soon, mayor Daan Prevoo said to NOS on Thursday.
"We still have 375 homes that have no electricity, so no working refrigerator because they are under water. Those people have no food. The hotels are full of evacuees, but supplies cannot reach Valkenburg because of the water," Prevoo said.
According to grid manager Enexis, the power outages were caused by water in the distribution boxes. The problems can only be solved once the water level subsided.
Residents of nursing home Valkenheim were evacuated and taken to another nursing home after the utilities went out, local security region Veiligheidsregio Zuid-Limburg reported. "We also wanted to evacuate hospice Oosterbeemd, but that was not successful due to the strong current," Prevoo said. "There are now 140 people stuck on the second floor. Our priority now is to get the really vulnerable people to safety."
A campground near Valkenburg was also evacuated, NU.nl reports. The town hall was open all night to receive people who had to leave their homes due to high water or who were left without gas, water and electricity.
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Meteorological institute KNMI had a code red weather alert issued for Limburg. That was withdrawn at 3:20 a.m. when the rain subsided. More rain is expected for Thursday, but much less than Wednesday. A code yellow warning is in place for all of the Netherlands, except the coastal provinces. Up to 40 mm of rain can fall in the coming 24 hours, especially in the central and eastern parts of the country, the KNMI warned. Most of the showers are expected in the morning and early afternoon.
Veiligheidsregio Zuid-Limburg again called on people to stay inside and avoid open water. "The flooding can cause dangerous situations. We see streams and rivers overflowing their banks in various places. Stay indoors and do not go near rivers and streams!" Security region spokesperson Maarten de Kever added to NOS: "You don't know the strength of water. You can easily be dragged along."
In Hoensbroek, water buffer De Dem is currently threatening to overflow. According to the municipality of Heerlen, which covers Hoensbroek, it is impossible to support the large water water basin. The Ministry of Defense deployed soldiers to the area, and they're doing what the can by filling sandbags to strengthen the water buffer. But it remains to be seen whether this will be enough.
The municipality called on Hoensbroek residents to take measures, such as finding a safe place in their house to camp out and cutting the power and gas until the situation is more under control.
Defense also sent soldiers to Gulpen after access roads to the hill-bound village flooded. Four-ton army trucks were deployed to make sure supply to the village, and exiting from it, remains possible, a spokesperson for the security region told local channel L1.
🌧️ Wandelen over de rijksweg zojuist tussen Gulpen en Valkenburg, Zuid-Limburg... De weersituatie is hier ronduit bizar! #wateroverlast #Weeralarm @helgavanleur @weermanreinier @janvissersweer @StormHour @Weerplaza @ADnl @L1 pic.twitter.com/zuTf3nH62f— Wouter van Bernebeek (@StormchaserNL) July 14, 2021