Water boards on high alert as heavy rain fills Dutch rivers

Days of heavy rain in Europe have led to high water levels in the Netherlands’ rivers, putting water boards in the north and south on alert.

In Friesland, water levels are so high that the Woudagemaal pumping station has been switched on to move surplus water into the Ijsselmeer lake, the NRC said. The Woudagemaal, which dates from 1920, is a Unesco world heritage site.
The situation in Friesland has been compounded by high sea levels in the Wadden Sea, making the use of the extra pump capacity essential, RTL news reported.
Sea level
The water in the Rhine at Lobith, where the river crosses into the Netherlands, is now 13 metres above NAP – the base used to measure how high or low water levels are. This is considered high but not worrying, RTL said.
If the level rises to 14 metres above NAP as expected, the environment ministry will take action to ensure excess water is pumped into the IJsselmeer.
The banks of the IJssel river in Rhenen have also been closed to traffic and walkers, the Gelderlander newspaper said.
The Maas river has burst its banks in several places and some cellars have been flooded. The Maas is now 42.22 metres above NAP in Borgharen, where the criticial level is 45 metres. Borgharen, in Limburg, is prone to flooding.
Water boards in Limburg are also taking precautions after days of heavy rain led to high river levels between the German border and Roermond. The Peel en Maasvallei water board in the north of the province has put temporary dyke supports and pumps at the ready.

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