The predicted rainfall, following the rainfall of the past few days, is too much for the Westhoek. While the number of interventions for the fire brigade is very good everywhere, the Westhoek Fire Department had already been called out 130 times for flooding by 2.30 pm today. “Streams flood and flood rural roads in particular,” says spokesperson Kristof Louagie. “Houses are also threatened here and there, we help people with sandbags. The vast majority of interventions take place in the Poperinge and Ypres region.”
Dared too far
Two female drivers were surprised by the water in the Kapellestraat in Watou, a sub-municipality of Poperinge. They thought they could drive further, but miscalculated. A van and a Renault Mégane became stuck as a result, the latter ending up halfway into the canal. The fire brigade rushed to help to bring the unfortunate drivers, who were unharmed, to dry land. An ambulance also rushed to the scene, but the ladies were able to recover. The police of the Arro Ypres zone warn residents of the zone on social media about flooding. Certain streets in the zone are completely flooded. “Don’t take unnecessary risks and drive around,” he says.
At Hooglede the entrance to the R32 towards Roeselare was closed. “Due to the persistent rain in recent days, the canal became oversaturated,” says Eveline Vandecaetsbeek, spokesperson for the Roads and Traffic Agency. “As a result, the road at the oven became flooded and the police closed the driveway.” Streets are also flooded in other places in Hooglede. A stream has overflowed near Gitsbergstraat, causing the street and surrounding fields to be completely flooded.
In Komen, just across the language border, brasserie Zwaanhof is forced to close its doors. The street is completely under water. “The water level has risen too much, making us inaccessible,” the managers report on Facebook. “We will therefore be closed this evening and have to cancel all reservations.”