Water level in Limburg province to remain high
The water level in the Meuse river in the southern Dutch province of Limburg will remain high for the coming week, but experts say it’s unlikely that the river will burst its banks. On Saturday afternoon, the Meuse reached its peak height as 2,271 cubic metres of water flowed per second through the river as a result of continuing thaw in the nearby hilly Ardennes region in Belgium.
A spokesman from the regional water board - also tasked with flood control – said that the highest water level should reach the city of Venlo on Monday evening. The municipalities of Roermond and Venlo have taken measures in the event of flooding. Sandbags have been piled up in the areas most vulnerable to flooding and certain roads have closed.
The state of emergency called earlier in the towns of Itteren and Borgharen will remain in force until the weekend. Anyone who is not a resident of the towns will be ordered to leave. Ten people have been evacuated from the two towns which suffered considerable flood damage in 1993 and 1995.
In Belgium, there has been widespread flooding as a result of the thaw and persistent, heavy rainfall. The floods have claimed the lives of at least four people. Villages in Germany have also been affected and it’s expected that the high water levels there will eventually reach the Netherlands via the River Rhine.
The Netherlands has a considerable amount of water-containing structures to protect it from flooding. In 2001, the total length of the primary water-retaining structures throughout the country was 3,585 kilometres. This includes the quays protecting areas of Limburg from the Meuse river. Dikes, dams and other structures protect areas lying further inland. Between 1995 and 2000, approximately 650 kilometres of dikes were reinforced and 195 kilometres of quays were constructed in Limburg, the region now affected.
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