Analysing the gale

NOTA BENE: this article was published 19th January, 2018 at 06:45AM. Several figures about the damage have changed meanwhile.

1 How strong was this gale?
The storm broke into the Netherlands and at its peak reached wind force 11 Bft.. “Since 1910 a storm with this force has only occurred thirteen times”, says Diana Woei of Weerplaza. “In addition to the average strength of the storm, gusts of wind are measured of more than 120 kph, almost hurricane power.”

2 People were blowing across the street. How can such a thing be?
On social media many videos popped up of people who came off the sidewalk and flew a bit or had to cling to a lamppost in order not to blow over. “That someone was blown off his feet is not that strange at such wind speeds,” Woei says. ,,A child flies in the round at wind force 9 Bft.. The wind was now considerably harder. Wind force 11 Bft. is strong enough to bring down an adult.”

201801181115Stormschade3 How exactly did this storm happen?
The storm built up in the Canadian Newfoundland, says Woei. “Due to falling air pressure, there is movement around the center of the low-pressure area. Because of the rotation of the earth, it moves to the right. The low-pressure area draws in air and this creates wind that can easily get storm force. ” Officially, there is a storm at wind force 9 Bft.. That force was reached yesterday at the beginning of the morning and then quickly gained strength. On the coast the wind was already lying around noon, in the east it lasted until the second half of the afternoon.

4 Have we been sufficiently warned?
After the exceptionally heavy storm of January 25, 1990, in which seventeen were killed, the KNMI decided to issue warnings in extreme weather conditions. Even before the storm erupted yesterday, the meteorological institute announced code orange. In the course of the morning the KNMI scaled that up to code red. “With such a warning people are strongly advised not to go on the road. The fact that many people do that and run a risk is their own responsibility, “according to the meteorological institute.

5 Why could the trains not run and was Schiphol completely paralyzed?
At 11.00 hours the NS pulled the plug out. The weather turned out to be too rough to continue. ProRail had 150 damage reports last night, of which ’30 to 40 larger incidents’. In 40 places, trees had been blown over, at some 30 places overhead lines were broken. Damage was also at train stations. Glass plates came down at The Hague Central Station; the station was closed for some time. At a quarter past 11, Schiphol was almost completely locked. It was still started and landed. Departure halls 1 and 2 closed because roof plates flew from the terminal. Schiphol was operational again at 1 PM. A total of 320 flights were canceled.

6 What caused all those trucks to blow?
The Traffic Information Service had at least 66 trucks that were tilted because of the strong wind. “Those trucks are real wind catchers, especially when they are driving without load,” says Arnoud Broekhuis of the ANWB Traffic Center. “The drivers know the dangers, but they take the guess. On all north-south connections trucks rolled on the bridges and traffic stopped. “There is no prohibition to drive trucks in a storm. The ANWB has the impression that the daredevils were partly Polish truckers. “We are thinking with Transport and Logistics Netherlands about how we can reach this group in situations like this. Maybe with icons and signs in other languages. “

7 Does the insurance cover the storm damage?
Almost all homeowners have a home insurance policy that covers damage to homes, such as broken roof tiles or damage caused by falling trees. Comparison site for insurance policies Independer reports that insurers will reimburse if the wind force is 7 or more. However, there is often a higher deductible for storm damage. Branches and trees on cars is another story. That depends on the car insurance. Those who are only insured with WA, have bad luck. Unless that fallen tree of the municipality was already rotten and the municipality had already been pointed out several times. But legally that is almost impossible to make. The level of damage is expected later today, but is probably in the tens of millions of euros.

The damage of the last gale is even worse than expected.


Damage to private properties (houses):

€ 83,000,000 / £ 73,112,000 / CA$ 126,406,900

Damage to private properties (cars):

€ 10,000,000 / £ 8,808,600 / CA$ 15,229,800

Damage to companies (airports, harbours etc.):

€ 110,000,000 / £ 96,895,000 / CA$ 167,427,000


€ 203,000,000 / £ 178,815,400 / CA$ 309,163,900


Code red impressions

Bij een bedrijf in Terborg is het dak eraf gewaaid.





2018/01/19 – Estimated storm damage

Het huis van het gezin Dingemans in Sint-Michielsgestel raakte zwaar beschadigd.

Insurance companies reported, that the weather of yesterday caused a damage of

€ 55,000,000 / £  48,456,000 / CA$ 83,773,000

The central alarm number 112 (911) has normally on the busiest time of the year (New years eve) 500 calls per hour; yesterday there was an average of 1,500 calls per hour 😦 😦 😦


Graafseweg 219

2018/01/18 – Meanwhile at 10:30AM (GMT+1) just behind us:

Below what happened at our neighbors: a tree fell just across their back yard. The Netherlands have a 9 – 10 Bft gale at the coast, 7 in our inland part.  The airline KLM cancelled 220 flights, mainly to Scandinavia and England, and the trains run far from schedule.





Code red straight over the center of the Netherlands: gale from the West. The second chart shows the rain, thunderstorms and temperatures in C. Until now 3 people died in the outrage of this weather.

Waarschuwing land 48 new

Weather map


High tide

New ferry grounded too

IMG_3073 (2)

New ferry between Velden and Grubbenvorst (river Meuse): the new ferry is 21 meters long and can accommodate 12 cars. There is a separate strip for cyclists. The maximum load capacity is 50 tons. The maximum vehicle weight is 25 tons. On he picture above you can see the new ferry on the left and the old ferry on the right. This picture is taken 1 week ago. Now the old ferry is not there anymore, and the new one is out of service.

High tide & deer

De ree was een beetje gehavend na de reddingsoperatie, maar maakt het goed.

The high tide brought a young deer in trouble on Sunday afternoon in Ubbergen. The De ree werd na de redding in een isodeken gewikkeld om op te warmen.animal got stuck between the bushes, while the water ran into the polder. The fire brigade eventually managed to save the creature.The volunteer fire brigade has sailed to the deer with a boat to get it out of the bushes. The animal was probably already there for two hours. The deer was a bit battered after the rescue operation, but got well eventually. After the liberation, the firefighters wrapped the deer in an iso sign to warm up. They did so on the advice of the rushed gamekeeper. The latter has taken the animal and set it out in a dry forest.

Hello beaver! As the water level rises 3cm per hour (0,72m per day) lots of animals are in problems. But species you normally hardly see  are now visible:

Een bever vlucht voor het hoogwater.

Also horses and cows have to be transported to safe heavens like higher parts of polders.


Tide too high for ferries

As the water level still rises, it is impossible too get your car on and off the ferry. Therefore several ferry services throughout the country are suspended.

Het veer bij Sambeek vaart nog wel.

High tide

Hoog water in de IJssel bij Kampen.

While the sandbags are piled up in German cities, Dutch water experts keep their heads cool. “We can handle these high water levels,” says the head of flood threat of Rijks-waterstaat and the water boards.

Code yellow is in effect. Not for imminent heavy weather, but because of the risk of flooding in the Netherlands. “This situation occurs once every five years,” says Harold van Waveren, chairman of the National Coordination Commission on the overflow threat of Rijkswaterstaat and the water boards. Van Waveren and his team keep an eye on the water levels from Lelystad.

Code yellow. Do we have to worry?
,,No, we have it under control. The Rhine continues to rise considerably tomorrow and Tuesday. The flood water is coming our way from Germany. There has been a lot of precipitation lately, just like in Switzerland. In Germany, the situation is much more extreme than here.” “In the Netherlands we expect the peak on Tuesday, towards the beginning of the evening. Then 7,500 cubic meters of water per second will flow into our country, the water level will rise to about 14.65 meters NAP. If the water levels exceed 13 meters NAP, code is yellow. Then it is necessary to take measures. Only at 15 meters NAP code turns orange. “

Het hoogwater.

What measures are being taken?
“In the context of “Space for the River”, many projects have been completed over the past five years. Look at the secondary channel near Nimwegen, which is now flowing for the first time. We are really reaping the benefits of widening the rivers right now. The water therefore does not rise too hard. In principle, we can use twice as much water in the Netherlands as we do now: the real test case has yet to come. It is not going to be that bad this week.”

Where are the problems the biggest?
“In the Netherlands it is not that bad, apart from some quays that run over here and there. Farmers must remove their cattle from the floodplains. The consequences for shipping are much more severe. There are substantial obstacles to the ships on the German Rhine. Dutch skippers also suffer from this. Transport by water is a major blow.” “But the high water also causes beautiful things. This is how we see beavers that are coming up. They are looking for a dry place, because their castles are under water. Research shows that biodiversity has increased considerably thanks to Room for the River. This is a sign of that. I am very happy about that. “

Hoogwater zorgt in het Land van Cuijk nauwelijks voor problemen.

New Year: damages

New Years eve

De Nijmeegse wijk Neerbosch Oost beleefde een onrustige jaarwisseling.

The turn of the year demands far too much from police and emergency services, says police chief Lute Nieuwerth of Gelderland-South (Nimwegen, Tiel and surroundings). Even worse, he thinks, that not only the rescue forces, but also the public, are in danger on the streets. “All kinds of drunken people, whom I would not even trust a lighter, throw with heavy explosives. Absurd. Why is it not forbidden?”, he asks. The transition from 2017 to 2018 was apparently quiet in the distribution area of the Gelderlander newspaper. Larger incidents were limited to a few hefty fires: a primary school in Meteren and a large storage shed in Boxmeer were destroyed. A house fire demanded a death in Buren. But many smaller reports of fires, brawls, neighbor quarrels and fireworks nuisance caused the emergency services to do a lot of work. “There is no quiet new year,” says Nieuwerth.

For East Netherlands, the district of Gelderland-South once again appeared to be most uneasy this year. More than 250 police officers were here: more than ten times as much as normal. Especially the Biblebelt is considered ‘war zone’. The police were again the busiest in villages like Beesd, Dodewaard and Waardenburg. In Tiel the ME had to protect the fire brigade. In Waardenburg, hard work was taken at 3 o’clock to call up youngsters throwing fireworks. Possibly the number of incidents on the biblebelt remained limited because Old Year’s Eve was on a Sunday.  The mentality in an area such as the Waarden really has to change, says Nieuwerth. “The fireworks being thrown are getting heavier. Not only are the inconvenience and damage enormous. It is too dangerous.”

The Netherlands in general: over the whole country there were less incidents between agressors and rescue workers: where in 2016/2017 still 50 rescue workers severely were attacked, it was over 2017/2018 only 9. The reason is a change in the law: any attempt to attack members of the fire brigade, police forces, or ambulance personnel will be charged at court as an attempt for murder. However, the material damage was immense: in only the city of Utrecht 20 private cars were set on fire. And a 53 year old man was killed when a heavy -illegal- firework exploded too early: the man was killed on the spot, he was known for his love for this kind of firework. But it happened on the middle of the day on a busy point. Children had to be transported to hospital, and a center for mental help was set up for the people who saw the incident.