Anxiously waiting for more flooding in Westhoek: ‘In many places it will be just above or just below’

Anxiously waiting for more flooding in Westhoek: ‘In many places it will be just above or just below’
Anxiously waiting for more flooding in Westhoek: ‘In many places it will be just above or just below’

The rainfall of the past few days has already caused significant flooding in numerous places in the Westhoek. Because a lot of water threatens to flow into our country from France, among others, residents of municipalities such as Stavele, in Alveringem, still have to wait and see.

Rainfall in West Flanders

Tap on a location to see the exact rainfall at the moment. Use the play button at the bottom left to see the forecast for the next 24 hours.

The situation is currently stable, Governor Carl Decaluwé said after the crisis meeting. “Because less precipitation fell last night than expected and because the pumping capacity is at full capacity,” he said. ‘That plays a part. We have also made an analysis of what awaits us in the coming hours. We still have a few critical points, including Stavele. We have therefore decided to build an extra dike. In the worst-case scenario, I don’t think we will get there, but with that extra dike we will hopefully be able to safeguard Stavele.’

It has also been decided to increase the number of sandbags. The technical services of the municipalities involved will go on site to help residents where necessary. “It is extremely difficult and in many places it will be just above or just below,” Decaluwé predicts. “Nobody can predict it right now.”

The road is gone in Stavele. — © Fred Debrock

Worst may be over

The situation is continuously monitored. According to Decaluwé, ‘the worst may be over’. ‘It will rain less on Saturday and Sunday. But we will have to remain alert. The increased capacity will be maintained next week to keep the situation under control.’ Everything is also being monitored in other places in the province, including Adinkerke.

Whether the arrival of Sinterklaas will be canceled is not yet a foregone conclusion. “If it can’t happen safely, it won’t happen.” Saturday is also Armistice Day. “If people stay in places where it is safe, that will not be a problem.” The governor therefore repeats his call for ‘disaster tourists’ to stay away. ‘Attending events is no problem, but afterwards driving around and watching other people’s misery is not a good idea.’

Farms are virtually inaccessible.

Farms are virtually inaccessible. — © Fred Debrock

Also nuisance elsewhere

There is also flooding elsewhere in West Flanders. Several streets in Wevelgem were flooded and therefore closed. Predictions from the Hydrological Information Center (HIC) show that the alarm thresholds are being exceeded on the Leie downstream of the Sint-Baafs-Vijve lock complex towards Deinze. The water level of the Heulebeek has also risen sharply. This causes nuisance in parts of Moorsele.

In Wervik, the A19 exit towards Ypres was closed for a while due to flooding.


The fire brigade asks you to call 1722 or surf to in case of flooding. ‘We ask that movements in the region be limited to those strictly necessary. Follow local road diversions and the guidelines of the emergency services on site. In any case, never drive on closed roads.’


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