Brussels seeks disaster cashafter weekend flood chaos
12 September 2005
BRUSSELS — The Brussels fire brigade was kept busy again on Monday cleaning up after Saturday’s thunderstorms led to flooding throughout the Belgian capital.
Ten teams of two fire brigade officers were still pumping dry flooded cellars and underground car parks on Monday, newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported.
Staff of the Civil Protection unit in Liedekerke and Ghlin were assisting the firefighters. The Red Cross was also lending a hand.
The fire brigade was primarily pumping floodwaters away in Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe on the Sint-Lambertusplein and surrounding streets and in the cellars of the Woluwe Shopping Center.
In various other buildings, elevators were not working due to flooding.
The fire brigade was called into action at about 10pm on Saturday in the Konkelstraat in Sint-Pieters-Woluwe after lightning hit an apartment building.
The building was evacuated after the 7th and 8th floors of the apartment complex caught fire and residents were given shelter by the Red Cross. The building was severely damaged.
The municipalities of Machelen, Vilvoorde and Grimbergen on the northern edge of Brussels have since lodged a request with the federal government for flooded residents to be compensated from the federal disaster fund.
Residents have been sent the necessary forms to fill in with a request to draw up an inventory of the damage incurred.
In Machelen, the Guerinckstraat and Tenaertslaan in Diegem were primarily affected after the Woluwe River flooded. Some 40 homes were flooded, some of which had 1.5m of muddy waters flowing through their ground floor.
In Vilvoorde, dozens of homes were flooded in the region around Keelstraat in the Koningsloo district.
But there was also flooding in other parts of Brussels, with a large number of houses going under in Grimbergen. The problems there were concentrated around the Populierendallaan and Humbeeksesteenweg.
Machelen Mayor Jean-Pierre de Groef has urged for an investigation into the construction of a new water basin upstream on the Woluwe to prevent repeated flooding.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news