The bad storm that has been battering Northern Europe has descended on our country. In my country that means watch the water rise and take precautions.Water and the Netherlands, or rather the Dutch keeping it out, have a pretty impressive history. But extreme weather make clear how impressive the water management really is.
Specifically the northern part of the country has it bad at present. The wind is sweeping up the water inland and it is raining. The soil is sodden, the water has nowhere left to go. River floodplains have just done their job, they are flooded. We have additional water bunkers, low lying land that can easily be flooded when needed. Up north, these are at capacity now in many places. Pumping stations are pumping 24/7 and flat out. Kampen is closing its old watershutters which ensures that the river is not coming into the city, an unusual step. All waterschap staff in the water management systems up north are on stand by and busy keeping the stations going and inspecting the dykes. Quit a few of the ferries to the islands are down. One of the polders up north is being evacuated (100 people and their cattle) as the dyke is ready to brake. I’m following this as this very near to where my grandmother hails from and thus I have distant relatives there.
Now knowing all this are we worried? Hardly. Sure up north it is hard going at present, specifically for waterschap staff. However though my work I know a little more and I have every faith in the man and women that are doing their work there. Besides if there is one thing we are very good at here it is water management. It is all hands on deck up north, but it is something we do have under control.
You may say, well that is easy you are not up north at present. True, it could well make a difference. Yet even if it were here, the Deltaworks are a pretty impressive part of water engineering and with the water history in this country, I am confident that this storm too shall pass. Still I am fascinated by it all and also very proud of the water people that protect us.