SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Heavy rain has caused flooding in many parts of the country, with up to 30mm of rain falling in an hour in some places.
Thunderstorms and torrential downpours swept in from the west in the morning and have been moving across the country, accompanied by winds of up to 60 km/h.
The KNMI has issued a code yellow warning for eastern and southern provinces for Friday afternoon. Utrecht, Het Gooi and the Veluwe reported the worst disruption as some roads were made impassable by standing water.
People were urged to avoid areas of open land and water because of the risk of lightning strikes. The media centre in Hilversum was also hit, with rain streaming into the BNN/Vara studios.
Town council workers had to replace a number of manhole covers that burst open because of the high water pressure.
Highways agency Rijkswaterstaat warned motorists to keep their speed down as heavy rain was reducing visibility on the road.
The stormy conditions are expected to reach eastern Brabant and Limburg in the early evening before giving way to dry, sunny conditions.