Flooding in Limburg continues, towns and cities evacuated
Heavy rainfall in Limburg has led to severe flooding and water damage across the province. Thousands have been evacuated as Dutch cities and towns prepare for the worst.
Flooding leads to evacuations across Limburg
On Thursday evening, the city of Maastricht issued an urgent appeal to 10.000 residents to evacuate their homes as the Meuse (Maas) river was expected to overflow its banks early on Friday morning. Residents in Roermond and Roerdalen, as well as a number of other smaller towns, were evacuated on Friday morning. More evacuations are expected to take place throughout the day.
Those evacuated in Maastricht have now been allowed to return to their homes as the water levels have already peaked at a lower level than was initially expected. According to a spokesperson from the local Security Region, water levels remained “just below the doom scenario.” Water levels are supposed to peak in Roermond on Friday night and in Venlo on Saturday night.
There has been severe damage across the region. Roads have been forced to close in Maastricht and a bridge collapsed in the town of Valkenburg. The full extent of the region’s damage will only be clear as water levels continue to fall.
Death toll in Belgium and Germany continues to rise
On Friday evening, the Dutch government declared the flooded areas in Limburg an official disaster zone, which will make it easier for those affected to claim compensation for the damages. Any damage not covered by insurance will be (partially) reimbursed by the government.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the situation “absolutely serious,” and is due to visit some of the affected areas on Friday afternoon. The flooding also extends into parts of Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg, with the most affected areas in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany. At least 92 people have died and dozens more are missing.