Groningen battered by storm-force winds

The storm – which battered the north of the country with winds of up to 115 km per hour in the early hours of this morning – had died down by afternoon, although there were still warnings of severe gusts continuing in coastal areas.

The storm was at its most severe in Groningen, reaching Gale Force 10 in places. Dozens of trees were blown down and a number of cars damaged. At Lauwersoog, the sea reached 4.6 metres above NAP (see Alphabet Soup) – a once-in-10-year occurence. In the port of Holwerd in Friesland, a number of cars floated away as high water flooded the pier. Waves of up to eight metres high were reported.
Early this morning, an Ameland coastguard boat capsized and lost radio and radar contact when it went to help a German boat that was in difficulty. The crew managed to right the boat which was guided back into port by helicopter.
Frisian media reported that nature reserve organisation, It Fryske Gea, was trying to rescue at least 100 horses which had been trapped on higher ground outside the defensive dykes. Several animals had drowned trying to swim to safety.
In Amsterdam, a man relieving himself against a tree at the height of the storm was knocked over by a falling tree and fell into the canal, according to local TV news station AT5. The man managed to swim to the side and climb out. The tree also damaged two cars.

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