In 24 hours (between Thursday 5 p.m. and Friday 5 p.m.) 10 to 30 millimeters of rain can fall in West Flanders. “The threshold of 25 mm in 24 hours can be reached in about a quarter of the province,” the RMI reports. “It is therefore a limit case to give a code yellow, but we are announcing it anyway given the problems in the Westhoek.”
Such precipitation amounts are also possible (very) locally in other provinces, but the chance is either smaller or they are expected in less than a quarter of the province in question, the RMI reports.
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Extra pumps and sandbags
Due to the predicted rain, the Yser and Leie threaten to flood in some places. Fire brigade zone Westhoek has already deployed extra pump capacity and sandbags will be distributed by the technical services of the affected municipalities.
The emergency services will brace themselves in the coming hours and the technical services of the affected municipalities will distribute sandbags on the streets where they are needed according to a risk analysis.
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Code red in France
The French weather service Météo France has declared code red for the Pas-de-Calais department and this also has consequences for the waterways in our country. The excess rainwater from France flows to the sea via the Leie and the Yser Basin.
The fire brigade zone has deployed extra pumping capacity at the lock complex in Nieuwpoort and Veurne and the water level of the IJzer is being closely monitored. Due to the rain of the past few days, the water was already very high there.
There is also a warning about high water levels in the Leie. “The alarm thresholds will be exceeded on the Leie downstream from the Sint-Baafs-Vijve lock complex towards Deinze and the Tourist Leie,” according to the Vlaamse Waterweg. “The water level could possibly lead to critical flooding on Friday. Homes near the river may be subject to flooding.”
The fire brigade advises residents to limit movements, respect diversions, park cars in a safe place (not in the garage), protect cellar and doorways and turn off gas, electricity and water.