Water levels continue to rise in the southern rivers

The Waal river near Nijmegen. Photo: ANP

The heavy rain is causing continuing problems in the eastern and southern provinces, with river flood defences stretched to the limits in places.

But there is no reason for panic, Buienradar weather forecaster William Huizinga told RTL Nieuws. “The water is high in parts of Overijssel and Gelderland, otherwise people would not be using sandbags,” he said. “But the water is not at dangerous levels.”

Officials and locals are keeping a particularly close eye on the water level in the IJssel river, which has already burst its banks in several places.

Part of the quayside in Deventer is already under water and sandbags are being used to stop the water from reaching the old inner city. A council spokesman said the water level in the river was just nine centimetres off the critical level. If there is a real flood, it will be on Thursday, not Wednesday, the official said.

The river has flooded the surrounding countryside in several areas and eleven horses had to be rescued from a nature reserve after becoming surrounded by water.

In Drenthe, too officials from the local water board are working round the clock to stop canals and ditches overflowing.

The high water levels are due to the heavy rainfall of recent days plus bad weather in Germany. The rain has left the ground sodden and unable to absorb more water. Storm Pia also left the level in the IJsselmeer lake around a metre higher than normal and unable to store more.

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