Our country, The Netherlands, lies for the main part below sea level.
We're protected by dikes.
In 1953 a combination of springtide and a northwestern storm.
When the tide was at its lowest the waterlevel was as high as at high tide. So people were warned. But they didn't takeit serious or didn't understand the implications and afterwards the watertide ran high so fast that the dikes couldn't hold the enormous pressure and boke through, and people got trapped.
Again we had a northwestern storm yesterday that pushed up the waters in The Canal, the waters between England and The Netherlands. No springtide though.
The winds were also targetted at the northern part of the country and it rained a lot. Luckily just half of what was expected.
And the dikes were reconstructed.
In the northern part of the country special dams were closed or closed itselves by the fast rising water.
And 3 larges areas were opened to take a lot of water to lower the pressure on the dikes. Lots of extra pumps were working. And ofcourse the permanent pumps.
This one is able to pump 30 large tanktrucks of water to the other side of the dike.
The artificial waterlevel dividers were opened to enable water to stream out of the land.
This one is at Warfsum.
Because the land is made in a sort of compartments by the dikes only a small part was flooded when a dike broke through.
Some other dikes started to leak and people had to be evacuated in the middle of the night.
To assess the situation well the army was asked to send an F16 and use infrared. In fact they used the same procedure which is used to find bombs in Afghanistan.
And planes were used to have a full eye evaluation of the situation.
In total 3 small dikes broke through and two dikes had severe leakage.
Luckily it didn't rain as much as expected and the wind turned a bit, otherwise more problems would have arissen.
When dikes get soaked they start to leak and the leaking water will take with it small particles of sand and when this continuous larger particles will be torn away by the the force of the water resulting in a hole.
Rain also washes out the dikes, and the fluctuating waterlevels are not good either.
Right now the main problems are at the north of the country and at the coast in the western part of the country.
Other parts will have to deal with high water starting today and this weekend. Highest levels are expected on monday in the south.