Water board engineers are on continued full alert as more heavy rain falls on sodden ground and in full rivers, boosting the risk of flooding in low-lying areas.
Sandbags have been placed to protect homes in Volendam and Hoorn and pumping stations are working round the clock to remove excess water.
The Maas river, for example, is expected to reach its height on Thursday and Friday as water from heavy rain downstream moves through the country.
In Maastricht itself, a bridge threatens to collapse after being hit by a houseboat that came loose from its moorings in strong currents after a support dam burst its banks. The bridge’s central pillar was hit by the boat and is now sinking, the AD reported.
The bridge, which provides a link between the houseboats and the rest of the world, was closed on Wednesday evening and everyone living on the boats has been evacuated.
In the meantime, the gap in the dam has widened and “we are doing everything we can to close it,” ministry officials said on social media.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands is also sending four emergency pumping stations to north western France where heavy rain has led to extreme flooding in places. France asked the EU for help on Wednesday.
Two infrastructure ministry experts and pumps are heading for Dunkirk and Calais on Thursday and two others will follow later in the week. The pumps are capable of moving five million litres of water an hour.
The Netherlands has 20 emergency pumps at its disposal and, the ministry said, can easily spare four for France because the situation here is under control. Belgium and parts of Germany have also been hit by flooding.
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