Most of the Netherlands under a Code Orange warning for icy roads
Update at 6:50 on 16 December - The KNMI de-escalated the icy roads warning to code yellow. The warning applies to the entire country, except the Wadden Islands, until noon.
The Dutch meteorological institute, KNMI, has issued a Code Orange weather warning because of the slippery conditions on the roads. The weather service initially announced the Code Orange earlier in the evening for just the coastal provinces, but it now applies to most of the country because it is treacherously slippery due to black ice on the roads.
The dangerous ice was a result of rain showers that landed on surfaces which were already below the freezing point. The lower Code Yellow warning level applies to the southeast of the country because it can also be slippery there.
The overnight was expected to be dry from the northwest, but the slick roads can remain. The slipperiness should last until the end of the morning.
Rijkswaterstaat advised people who will use the roads anyway to be extra alert and very cautious. The agency’s fleet was ready to spread grit and salt where necessary. The ANWB said that it is particularly dangerous on provincial and municipal roads. "This makes it difficult for Roadside Assistance to reach people with a breakdown."
A spokeswoman for Rijkswaterstaat said that due to the slipperiness there have been several accidents at the Rijnsweerd junction near Utrecht, where the A27 and A28 converge. "We have now set a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour for safety and some connecting roads have also been closed," says the spokeswoman. They want to reopen those connecting roads after they have been salted.
In Noord-Holland, the N200 was closed due to extreme slipperiness, the province said on Twitter. Because there is little traffic on the road, the sprinkled salt has not broken up enough.
According to the KNMI, a Code Orange alert means that there is a "great chance of dangerous or extreme weather where the impact is large and there is a chance of damage, injury or a lot of nuisance.”
Reporting by ANP