Sunday 05 December 2021

More heavy rain on the way after flooding hits homes and roads in Limburg

Photo: Marcel van Hoorn/ANP

Southern Limburg is bracing itself for a second day of heavy rain after some roads and towns were hit by flooding on Tuesday.

The regional safety board warned that the Maas and tributaries were at risk of overflowing following the downpours both in the province and upriver in the Ardennes in the last 24 hours.

The region remains on orange alert until Thursday evening as some areas could see up to 150 mm of rainfall in the next 36 hours – almost double the monthly average for July, online weather bureau Weerplaza warned.

Drivers were urged to avoid non-essential journeys because of the risk of loose drain covers and flooded roads, while owners of recreational boats were warned of dangerous currents on the Maas river.

The A79 motorway through Heerlen remains closed after parts of the road filled with water on Wednesday.

Holidaymakers have been advised to move away from rivers and streams connected to the Maas because of the risk that they could burst their banks.

Residents and guests at the Oliemeulen mill, now a bed and breakfast, on the Camerbeuk stream, had to be rescued by firefighters as flood waters filled the building up to waist height.

‘The stream is intact, but a complete river has sprung up beside it,’ one neighbour told 1Limburg. ‘The mill was 1.5 metres underwater. The elderly couple living there had to be brought out swimming by firefighters.’

Homes were also flooded in the village of Schin op Geul, where 85 mm of rain fell in a three-hour spell. Meteo Limburg said none of its forecasting computers predicted the volume of rain on Wednesday.

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