Residents of Walkenberg continued on Friday to clear their flooded homes below the south of the Netherlands when bad weather struck, where experiences and investments in water management seem to be paying off.
Heavy rainfall in Europe in recent days has caused great damage in the Netherlands, but so far no one has died.
At least 120 people have died across the border, in Germany and Belgium.
Streets were flooded, vehicles were swept away and thousands of people were evacuated, but property damage was secondary with the tragic death toll in neighboring countries.
Observers in the Netherlands say investments made in recent decades to protect people from sea level in the Netherlands and that a third of the sea is below sea level has helped Dutch visitors reduce the damage.
In addition, it had been most affected by the preparation for the water.
– “Balance is under control” –
“The situation is under control, despite the record number of water-broken tribes,” Eric von Pierrendong, a Rijkswatersstadt ruling, said Friday afternoon.
“This is part of our water management plans,” he told AFP.
After the catastrophic floods of the 1990s, especially in 1995, 250,000 animal banks are evacuated, and the Dutch have redesigned the rivers based on their experience.
More than 2.2 billion has been invested to widen the banks, which overflow during flooding. The works were completed in 2019.
Rijkswaterstad explains: “Instead of building higher dikes, we try to give the rivers more space.
A similar project was started in 2005 to give the muse more space and the dikes along the banks were strengthened.
– “used too much” –
Since the EU mandate in 2007, many countries have been involved in improving flood risk management, but “maybe there was a start for the Dutch,” says Marlene von Rijzwick, professor of national water law at Utrecht University.
“The Netherlands remains focused on projects and continues to focus on mitigating the effects of flooding and climate change,” he told AFP.
But sometimes it seems like nothing can stop the power of nature: In the coming beautiful town of Walkenberg, residents pumped out water on Friday and houses, long army built a temporary bridge replaced the old ones, washed away.
Caravans drifted around a completely submerged camp at Rormont, 50 km to the north.
Says 58-year-old Stan van der Leigh.
“But we had more time to prepare,” he told AFP.
“It suddenly happened in Germany and Belgium. They didn’t have time to do anything.”