In several municipalities, streets had to be temporarily closed. Credit: Belga
As the storm Ciara hit Belgium over the weekend, and strong gusts of wind will continue to be felt on Monday, fire departments all over the country were called to take care of the damage.
“The Brussels fire department carried out 734 medical and other interventions from midnight on Saturday to Monday 6:00 AM, which is double the amount of a ‘normal’ day,” said Walter Derieuw, spokesperson of the Brussels fire brigade.
“There were 392 interventions, of which 321 were directly related to the storm. Of those, 72 were for fallen trees on the roads, and 249 for objects, such as gutters, flower boxes, windows, balconies, pieces of facade, road signs and tarpaulins, in danger of ending up on the street,” he added.
The Brussels fire brigade also had to intervene in the night from Sunday to Monday for four CO intoxications, for which twelve people needed care in the hospital. “The wind may have played a role, by blowing back the combustion gases,” said Derieuw.
In Wallonia, the fire brigade had to intervene hundreds of times as well. The fire brigade of Mons was called over 250 times during the night, and 200 interventions were carried out in the region of La Louvière and Binche as well.
In the Dinant-Philippeville area, the firefighters carried out about 300 interventions and the police of the Liège area intervened about a hundred times. One person was slightly injured when a tree fell on a car. The fire brigade of Vesdre, Hoëgne and Plateau carried out about 200 interventions, reports VRT.
In the Luxembourg province, inhabitants have been warned for floods on Monday, but they are expected to be small and local.
In the east of the Flemish-Brabant province, some 900 calls came in for the storm weather, of which over 600 came in via the emergency number 1722, and the other went directly to the various fire brigades. They mostly concerned loose branches or fallen trees, damage to roofs and gutters, and electricity cables hanging low over the road.
In the municipality of Glabbeek, the wind blew away the roof of a house. In several municipalities, streets had to be temporarily.
The city of Antwerp has also warned about the storm tide. “A storm tide is predicted on the Scheldt today. Around 2:30 PM, the floodgates will close. Remove your parked car from the Scheldt quays as soon as possible,” the city warned on Twitter.
Over the course of the weekend, the Antwerp fire brigade was called about 850 times, but only had to carry out around 300 interventions. Most damage was limited to falled roof tiles and fallen trees, reports De Morgen.
In the Limburg province, the fire departments were called about 1,000 times, but mostly for small damage. “It’s mostly fallen trees on public roads. But all in all, it’s not so bad,” the spokesperson said, reports Het Nieuwsblad.
Off the Belgian coast, the storm warning for Ciara is still in force on Monday. “There is still a stormy wind on the high seas, along the coast the wind blows hard. There are gusts of wind up to 100 km/h,” the Flanders website warns.
“This afternoon, it is still waiting for spring tide. A high water level of 575 centimetres in Ostend is expected around 2:00 PM,” it added.