In Wichilin in East Flanders, rain in the past few days has threatened to flood many homes on Saturday. In consultation with the contractor and De Vlaamse Waterweg, the municipality has temporarily raised the dam. The flow of waterways has also risen sharply elsewhere in the country.
“Because work is underway on the dam, the water suddenly reached just one centimeter below the edge of the dam on Saturday morning,” said Mayor Kenneth Taylor (Simon).
According to the mayor, there are two problems in Wichelen. The Bosbeek River flows into the Scheldt, but due to the high water level in the Scheldt the water could no longer escape and threatened to run down the street. In consultation with the Governor and Civil Protection, an additional Bosbeek water pump has now been installed there. The fire brigade also pumped water on Friday.
On Saturday morning, the Municipal Crisis Cell met and announced the municipal emergency phase. A new dam is being constructed on the Scheldt and the old dam has been partially excavated to create a path for site traffic. Mayor Taylor said: “This morning the Scheldt waters were barely one centimeter below the edge of the dam, so to speak.” The dam was then raised again in consultation with the contractor and De Vlaamse Waterweg. “I’ve made sure it’s high enough now.”
Lanaken monitors the water level in the River Meuse
The flow rate of the Maas River also rose sharply, and the water level reached 44 meters on Saturday afternoon. One day, the water level rose two meters. We are careful. There is still one meter below the safety level of 45.5 meters, while the alarm level is 46.8 meters, says Lanaken Mayor Marino Keulin (Open VLD).
Despite the large influx of water in the Maas, no measures are required. Hikers and cyclists should bear in mind that some trails are underwater and inaccessible. Winter bed is fully available. There is no danger to the population or animals. The little village of Herbricht is still accessible on foot, but our technical service oversees it in turn, ”says Keulen.
Mayor Sophie Vandwerd (Open VLD) says the situation is similar in Dilsen-Stokkem. This week we have already closed a number of roads to Mas with the Nadar gates, but there are no problems anywhere. The Mas Bed has been greatly expanded over the years with nature conservation areas and gravel extraction areas, making it a kind of natural catchment basin.
In Maasmechelen there is inconvenience with the ferry. For example, on the border between Meeswijk and Berg in Dutch Limburg, the car ferry was removed from Maas on Friday due to rising water levels.
In Maaseik, the Labaerdijk under the Maas Bridge was preemptively closed with piles of panels.
Floods also in Liege
The camp site at Esneux, on Ourthe near Liège, was underwater 1.5 meters away on Friday and there was no improvement on Saturday. Camp residents are now greeted at the gym. It involved ten people, including children.
The situation did not deteriorate on Saturday, but the water is not leaving either. Many homes in Esneux have underwater basements. The fire brigade says that pumping out those basements is meaningless, especially in the lower areas, as long as the water level on the street does not go down.
Other rivers in Wallonia, such as the Amplif River and its tributaries and the Ur River, are also subject to increased vigilance against potential floods. After all, due to the new downpour on Saturday, the water is expected to not be low anytime soon.