Flooding, lighting strikes across the country
30 June 2005
BRUSSELS — Besides the subsidence problem with the Brussels ring road, flooding and a record breaking electrical storm have left a trail of damage across Belgium.
The recent heatwave broke with a vengeance in the past two days and damage reports and traffic delays were being filed in both Walloon and Flanders.
In particular, long traffic delays occurred on the Brussels ring road on Thursday after part of the motorway subsided. Temporary repair works have been carried out, but permanent repairs will be conducted overnight.
Meteorology bureau KMI counted more than 60,000 lightning flashes on Wednesday, a new record since measurements started in 1997. Some 18,000 lightning bolts were directed at the ground.
The provinces of Henegouwen en Luik were especially affected. The previous lightning record dates back to 30 July 2002 when 59,000 lightning flashes were recorded.
Damages to houses were reported in Flanders due to the thunderstorms. Most of the damage reports involved flooded cellars and lightning strikes.
The centre of the country was especially hit by flooding, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported.
The Dendermonde and Aalst fire brigades received 200 calls for assistance and a further 200 calls were lodged in the Vilvoorde-Zaventem-Tervuren region. A total of 50 calls were lodged with authorities in Brussels.
Fire brigade teams were also called out in other areas to pump cellars dry late in the afternoon. Some people did not notice the flooding until they arrived home from work.
Besides rain and lightning damage, hail stones caused problems also, as roofs and cars were damaged across the Flanders region.
Traffic jams extending to 50km were reported on the ring roads of Brussels and Antwerp on Wednesday.
Walloon was also hit by stormy weather on Tuesday. Wallonian Brabant was especially hit by the deluge, while blackouts were reported in Verviers and Marche in the Ardennes.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news