Floods caused “a lot of damage in northeast Friesland” with more rain expected
A massive overnight downpour has caused a significant amount of water-related damage in the northwestern part of Friesland, firefighters said on Sunday. The precipitation in de Westereen measured at 104.7 millimeters, a new record according to one weather report. In some parts of Friesland they get less than 90 millimeters for all of July.
A code yellow weather warning remained in effect for Friesland and nearly all of the Netherlands covering all of Sunday afternoon, evening, and most of the night, as well as Monday from the afternoon through just 11 p.m. The warning was for thunderstorms accompanied by local bursts of hail. Those driving in Friesland were advised to beware of flooding, which could also cause manholes to be loosened and bring other debris into the roadways.
“The water is steadily receding. There is a lot of damage in northeast Friesland. Basements and viaducts are still being pumped out,” the regional fire department said on social media late Sunday morning.
The influx of reports forced the fire department to triage their calls so that they responded where they could provide the most positive impact to the most people. In doing so, they also issued a request that the public only call 112 in cases of life threatening emergencies.
"We were startled by a lot of water in de Wouden. It was really a cloudburst with enormous amounts," said Jan Willem Zwart from the regional fire department. "Streets were flooded, and slowly but surely more reports came in.” According to the regional broadcaster Omroep Fryslan, some of the affected areas were in towns like Buitenpost, Damwâld, Harkema, Kollumerzwaag, and Sumar.
Flooding forced the residents of the Sikkemahuus nursing home in de Westereen to retreat to higher floors of the building, the fire department said on social media. ”Those elderly people have also been taken elsewhere. It has a lot of impact for these vulnerable people,” Zwart told the broadcaster.
It was not just basements, but also the ground floors of buildings which took on water, like at a music school in Waldsang where the water rose to be ankle deep.