SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – People evacuated from their homes in central and northern Limburg will hear later today when they can return, after inspectors check the condition of dikes along the Maas River.
No major problems were reported with flooding overnight. The army was brought in to reinforce dikes along the route of the Maas as the high volume of water moved downstream and carry out emergency repairs on a dam near Maastricht, broadcaster NOS reported.
By Sunday morning water levels were dropping in the region of Roermond, the local safety board said. Officials will then inspect the dykes to see if they are considered still safe.
The water and safety boards in Brabant and Gelderland provinces have said they are expecting any problems when the high-water volume from both Limburg and Germany reaches them via the Maas and the Rhine.
‘The flood plains will fill up, but that is what they are meant to do,’ a spokesman for Gelderland-Zuid safety board said. Although the river levels will rise considerably, they will be well below the maximum level the dikes can take.
‘The Maas does not have much space when it enters the Netherlands and all the rainwater from the hilly region is an added impact,’ Freek Jochems of the Rivierland water board told website Nu.nl.
‘But the river is much wider in Brabant and Gelderland so the water level does not rise as much,’ he said. ‘We are expecting record volumes of water, but without any major problems.’