Storm death toll reaches six

The Netherlands returned to normal on Friday after Thursday’s severe storm, in which six people were killed. Dozens more died elsewhere in Europe. Insurers have now begun assessing the extent of the damage – estimated at €160m for private property alone.

Dutch Rail (NS) reported a quieter than normal rush hour as the railway network got back up to speed. Around 6,000 commuters had been put up in emergency accommodation after the network ground to a halt on Thursday evening. There were some delays, but a spokesman said the organisation was pleased how well the rush hour had progressed.
On the roads, motoring organisation ANWB reported more traffic than normal on a Friday but no undue delays after the emergency services worked over night to clear fallen trees and other debris.
The National Crisis Centre, which had warned people to stay indoors, said on Friday that its website had had 3.5 million visitors. However, a spokesman said the storm had not been a national crisis. The emergency services were not swamped and there was no chaos, he said.
Police reported on Friday that a sixth person had been killed in the storm, after he drove into the back of a stranded lorry.
Storm news at a glance
• Strongest gust – 133kph – recorded in the Wilhelminadorp resort, Zeeland.
•  Strongest inland gust – 124 kph – in Herwijnen, Gelderland.
•  The A2 was closed in both directions after parts of the noise barriers came loose.
•  10,000 rail passengers were stranded as the rail network closed down. Part of the roof of Amsterdam Centraal Station roof blew off.
•  6,000 people were put up in emergency accomodation; 1,500 slept in Utrecht’s Jaarbeurs.
• Police dealt with 172 motorway accidents during the storm – four times the usual number.
• Six people died; two when a tree hit their car. In another incident, a child was killed when he was blown off his bike under a car.
• Water levels rose in Friesland and Groningen but there was no flood danger. The Maas was also reported to be near danger levels.
• With Force 10 winds, yesterday’s storm was worse than last week’s – but not as severe as in January 1990 when winds reached Force 11 and 17 people died.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation