Roofs blown away and cow stuck under tree: aftermath storms in Belgium
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Roofs blown away and cow stuck under tree: aftermath storms in Belgium

Credit: Robert Dekock/Brussels Fire Brigade

Throughout Saturday, the strong gusts and heavy rain that travelled across the country resulted in hundreds of calls to the fire brigades in all regions to intervene in incidents.

After the storm on Thursday, Noodweer Benelux warned that, during the night from Friday to Saturday, the wind would gradually increase to fairly strong over a large part of the region with possible wind peaks of 80 to 100 km/h.

In the capital, the Brussels fire brigade carried out 47 interventions on Saturday due to strong winds accompanied by rain and hail, its spokesperson Walter Derieuw said at the end of the day.

“Unfortunately, one person became slightly injured after being hit by a flying tent at a market in Laeken. The interventions concerned four uprooted trees, one blocked drain and 40 different objects that were blown away,” said Derieuw.

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The service intervened in another nine incidents after its last announcement at 5.30 PM on Saturday, concerning one uprooted tree and another eight objects which were blown away.

The fire brigade of the Walloon city Nivelles received around 87 calls between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM on Saturday to deal with a number of incidents, including falling trees, branches and electric cables on the roads.

The brigade also intervened to free a cow that had become stuck under a fallen tree in Limelette, Wavre.

In one neighbouring village, the fire brigade was called out to a property where one of the walls was in danger of collapsing, and to a farm where the roof had blown off a building, which was in danger of falling apart.

Several other roofs suffered damage from the heavy gusts of wind, with scattered roof tiles found in neighbouring towns.

Meanwhile, in Flanders, strong winds blew the roofs off of five houses in Torhout in the province of West Flanders, Mayor Kristof Audenaert said on Saturday, but no one was injured in these incidents.

In Moerbeke-Waas, in East Flanders, so much hail fell that the streets looked like it has snowed.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times