Flood damage in Valkenburg estimated at €400 million; 700 families displaced
The damage total in the Limburg city of Valkenburg has reached 400 million euros as a result of the heavy flooding and high water level in the Geul river last week. Half of the amount is in physical damage to buildings, and the other half is the amount businesses lost in income as a result of the disaster, said Daan Prevoo, Valkenburg's mayor, during a press conference on Wednesday.
The high water on the Maas river tributary caused problems with 2,300 homes in the municipality, 700 of which were seriously damaged. So far, 900 tons of household effects have been removed from the homes, which will need two to three months to dry out. They will then need to be inspected.
Earlier in the day, Prevoo told L1 the municipality was searching for temporary housing for the families who reside in those properties. Initially they were allowed to stay in hotels, but the municipality is trying to find a more appropriate solution.
"In many houses there is still no electricity, it is damp and it smells. People need a quiet place to reflect and start rebuilding," Prevoo said.
So far, 50 people have stepped up to offer what they could, like spare bedrooms, but the municipality wants to find independent spaces for the affected families.
Prevoo also warned people that the GGD classified the countryside around Valkenburg as "a major health risk." The floodwater left behind a "stew of Geul water, rainwater, sewage, and all asses that people kept in basements and garages, like paint, combustible material and frying fat."
An emergency order was put in place to keep people out of the area, with fines possible for violators.