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Maeslantkering and Oosterscheldekering Closed for First Time Due to Storm Pia and High Water, Shipping Traffic Blocked in the Netherlands

Dec 21, 2023 at 8:15 PM Update: 34 minutes ago

The Maeslantkering, the largest automatic storm surge barrier in the Netherlands, is closed for the first time due to storm Pia and high water. Due to the weather, several barriers are closed and dikes are extra monitored.

Shipping traffic in the Nieuwe Waterweg near Hoek van Holland, where the Maeslantkering is located, has been completely blocked since 6 p.m. According to the Port of Rotterdam Authority, users of the port were already warned earlier in the day. Shipping traffic was already reduced on Thursday afternoon.

The Oosterscheldekering, the largest Delta Works in the Netherlands, has also been closed since 6:15 p.m. due to storm Pia and high water. The water is expected to reach a height of 3 meters around 10 p.m. The storm surge barrier, which is located between Schouwen-Duiveland and Noord-Beveland, is 9 kilometers long and closes on average once a year due to a high water level.

Earlier on Thursday, Rijkswaterstaat closed the inflatable storm surge barrier Ramspol near Kampen, because the water in the IJsselmeer was expected to rise due to the storm. In addition, the Haringvliet locks and the Hollandsche IJsselkering near Krimpen aan den IJssel are closed due to the high water caused by storm Pia.

The Oosterscheldekering. Photo: ANP

Closed dike passages and extra dike surveillance

Many water boards along the coast, the IJsselmeer and the Wadden Sea implement dike monitoring due to the storm in combination with high water. Some water boards have called up volunteer dike guards, because the dike inspectors already have their hands full.

In North Holland, the denomination at Den Oever is closed with bulkhead beams. A coupure is a passage in a dike. If this does not happen, seawater will flow into the village, reports Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier.

Also measures on the Wadden Islands

So-called flood barriers are placed in several places. This happens, among other places, in Goudswaard and under the Van Brienenoord Bridge in Rotterdam. The Sassluis is closed in Enkhuizen. This will remain the case until after New Year’s, because the tide continues to be high.

Measures are also being taken on the Wadden Islands. For example, the denomination on Vlieland will be closed and full dike surveillance will be deployed along the Wadden coast.

Noorderzijlvest Water Board asks the public not to come to the dike because it is not safe. The retaining wall in Harlingen will also be closed.

The storm surge gates of the large sea lock at Farmsum in Groningen are closing. The ferry dam in Holwerd is closed to all traffic from 11 p.m. In Zeeland, roads outside the dikes are closed.

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Kitesurfers go meters into the air on the IJsselmeer during storm Pia

2023-12-21 19:15:00

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