Flooding leads to half a billion euros worth of damage in Limburg
Last week’s flooding in the province of Limburg closed roads, damaged dikes, destroyed bridges, and forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes. Now that the water has receded, local authorities are finally able to assess the damage caused.
At least 500 million euros worth of damage in Limburg
Mayors of the three most heavily affected municipalities - Valkenburg aan de Geul, Meerssen, and Gulpen-Wittem - have estimated that last week’s floods caused at least half a billion euros worth of damage. In a press conference on Wednesday, the mayor of Valkenberg, Daan Prevoo, assumed that his municipality had suffered the greatest damage.
Prevoo said there is an estimated 400 million euros worth of damage in his municipality alone. A total of 2.300 buildings were damaged, and 700 households are unable to return to their homes as a result of the flooding. The mayor estimates there is around 200 million euros worth of material damage, and another 200 million euros lost in business revenue in the area.
Valkenburg residents who are unable to return to their homes will have to wait months for their properties to be repaired. “The houses still have to dry for at least two to three months. Insulation material also has to be replaced, and broken walls and broken facades have to be checked by experts," Prevoo explained.
Dutch government's disaster fund will cover flood damage
The cost of repairing the extensive damage will be covered by the Dutch government and insurance providers. The Valkenburg mayor has informed people that both Centraal Beheer / Achmea and Interpolis will compensate damage caused by precipitation as well as damage as a result of flooded water basins. The insurers hope they will be compensated by the government’s disaster fund which was announced last week.
Over eight million euros has also been raised by the Giro 777 campaign to help those affected by the floods. The cash raised will be used to fund small-scale projects and citizens’ initiatives that support the local community, and won’t be distributed directly to local people and businesses.