Water levels in Limburg recede, local authorities say worst is over
After heavy rainfall led to severe flooding in Limburg last week, water levels are finally receding and thousands of people are able to return to their homes.
Water levels in Limburg recede after weekend of flooding
Thousands of people had been evacuated over the past few days due to extremely high water levels in the Meuse (Maas). Several dikes were damaged and had to be reinforced over the weekend, but chairman of the Security Region, Antoin Scholten, says most of the province has “crawled through the eye of the needle.”
Water levels continue to recede across the region. On Sunday, thousands of Venlo residents who had been forced to evacuate were allowed to return to their homes after an extremely tense weekend of waiting. “A large part of the residents of the security region can breathe a sigh of relief,” Scholten says.
Local authorities reported no major flooding incidents on the night of July 18, but Scholten emphasises that some towns - namely Bergen, Mook, Middelaar, and Gennep - still face significant risks. “There is still a high level of alertness. We remain vigilant until the mass of water has left the province,” the local Security Region has said.
Prime Minister, King and Queen visit flooded towns and cities
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima all visited some of the affected areas on July 16. Rutte called the floods “terrible” and “severe,” and expressed his relief that the Netherlands hadn't suffered any fatalities.
Both Rutte and the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, highlighted the fact that these floods can likely be linked to climate change. Van Nieuwenhuizen also emphasised that this kind of flooding could happen anywhere in the country and that the Netherlands has a long way to go to protect itself from water damage and “create even more space for the water.”
750 million euros has been put aside to reinforce 17 weak dikes and quays in the affected areas, and over five million euros has been raised to support those affected by the floods. The Ministry of Defence has said it will be available to help with the flooding until at least midday on Monday.