Storm Corrie approaches: wind gusts up to 90 km/h, Brussels closes parks

Storm Corrie approaches: wind gusts up to 90 km/h, Brussels closes parks
Credit: Belga

Measures are taken to counter storm Corrie across Belgium, as the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) is predicting wind gusts of up to 90 km/h throughout Monday.

On the Belgian coast, the breakwaters in Ostend and Blankenberge are closed off as a precaution, and the RMI warned against walking on the dikes. Warnings of a storm tide have also been issued, meaning that the seawater will be extra high.

In the Brussels-Capital Region, all regional parks, nature reserves and forests have been closed to the public since 06:00 on Monday morning. The Sonian Forest and its car parks are not accessible until 08:00 on Tuesday 1 February either, and Bruxelles Environment advises against going anywhere near trees in the Region.

Antwerp is closing its floodgates along the Scheldt quays on Monday afternoon, as the water level of the Scheldt is expected to reach 7.12 metres — 1.65 metres higher than normal.

Additionally, the Vlaamse Waterweg (Flemish Waterway) issued a shipping restriction on the Upper-Zeescheldt to prevent wave action by ships from putting extra strain on the dikes on Monday. “On the Rupel, the Lower-Nete and the Lower-Dijle, shipping will also be blocked during this period,” it stated in a press release.

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The RMI is mainly expecting showers of (melting) snow over the eastern half of the country, and a snow layer of several centimetres to be formed in the High Fens.

In the western part of the country, it will often remain dry, with maxima varying from 0 or 1 degree in the Ardennes heights to 6 or 7 degrees in Flanders. A strong north-westerly wind is blowing gusts of up to 75 or 80 km/h, and even 100 to 110 km/h in the Netherlands.

Additionally, the Home Affairs Ministry is temporarily activating the 1722 number, it announced Sunday evening. This way, the emergency services will not be overburdened and the crisis numbers will remain free for the most urgent calls.

For storm and water damage requiring assistance from the fire brigade, a request can be made through the e-portal or call 1722. “Only call 112 for situations that are potentially life-threatening,” the authorities said.

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