Flooding, traffic chaos as storm hits Flanders
4 July 2005, BRUSSELS — A severe thunderstorm battered West Flanders overnight as widespread flooding and damage was reported across the region.
4 July 2005
BRUSSELS — A severe thunderstorm battered West Flanders overnight as widespread flooding and damage was reported across the region.
Since midnight, dozens of calls for assistance have been lodged with police and fire fighters in the region around Ieper, Poperinge and Heuvelland.
Throughout the night the storm moved from West Flanders across to East Flanders, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Monday.
The storm front started moving towards Antwerp and Brussels later on Monday morning, but the worst of the weather appears to have passed.
The thunderstorm hit Westhoek shortly before midnight, spreading across the coastal province soon after. More than 1,200 calls for assistance were lodged with the Brugge emergency centre, which serves the entire province.
The heaviest-hit region was around Ieper and Roeselare. The cellars of the Roeselare hospitals were flooded, while the court and financial administration department were also flooded in Torhout.
The amount of rain recorded was in some paces higher than the monthly average.
Transport was disrupted as several electrical problems hindered train travel from the coastal province to elsewhere in Belgium. Motorists were facing slippery and flooded roads.
The storms had moved throughout the night across to East Flanders, where the Meetjesland area was hardest hit.
Lightning sparked fires in both the municipalities of Eeklo and Kaprijke. A church was hit by lightning in Eeklo, but smoke with no fire was reported. However, an apartment was destroyed by fire in Eeklo.
Fire fighters were also called out to combat flooding at various other places, including Maldegem and Knesselare. The centre of Adegem went under water, while the road between Maldegem and Aalter, the N44, was flooded.
The region around Ghent was largely spared any damage, but it was still raining early on Monday morning.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news