Storm Henk bears down on Belgium

Belgium and the surrounding countries have been hit by stormy weather since yesterday. In several areas of the country, water alarm thresholds have been exceeded and more showers are on the way, reports VRT NWS.

At 9 a.m., the governors of East Flanders and Flemish Brabant will meet again to discuss the flooding in their provinces. In West Flanders, people anxiously await what the next few hours will bring. In Poperinge, near the French border, there is little room for more water, mayor Christof Dejaegher told Radio 1's 'De Ochtend'.

"The water levels at the border were close to the alarm level yesterday, but are now falling slightly. We're very worried about what the day will bring, including what's happening in northern France. The water is coming down the IJzer with a slight delay. There's not much room for manoeuvre", Dejaegher emphasised.

Lack of prevention

Recurrent and increasingly frequent flooding raises the question of how to prevent such emergencies. The river Dender, for example, has reached alarm levels in several places, exacerbated by 19th-century weirs and sluices that were due to be replaced by seven new weirs by 2020. But no action has yet been taken.

In Wallonia, on the other hand, all the weirs on the Dender have been removed, allowing the Walloon region to discharge twice as much water into Flanders.

France, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany have also felt the full force of Henk and are dealing with flooding. The bad weather isn't over yet, with more rain expected later today. The situation is not likely to improve until Thursday.



Illustration video shows a flooded Beekstraat in Zandbergen during heavy rainfall in the East Flanders region, Wednesday 03 January 2024. © ​ BELGA VIDEO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE

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