Gusts of high wind continue into Saturday, motorway blocked by fallen tree

The gusts of high wind that started on Friday evening have continued through the night and into Saturday morning. The wind has caused a few isolated issues on the railways and left some cycle lanes and roads blocked by fallen branches and uprooted trees. In Limburg province the E314 motorway is almost completely blocked near to Genk. 

With wind speeds of up to 80km/h having been forecast, the Royal Metrological Institute (KMI) issued a Code Yellow Weather warning on Friday. The Department of the Interior opened the 1722 hotline for those wishing to request a non-urgent intervention by the fire service to, for example, clear an uprooted tree.

However, unlike earlier this week when heavy rain and hail caused localised flooding, the hotline was not inundated with calls on Friday night.

The wind has caused branches to fall and trees to become uprooted. This has resulted in disruption on the roads and railways. In Melle, in East Flanders an uprooted tree fell onto overhead cables on the mainline between Brussels and Ghent. A train with 150 passengers on board that was on its way from Brussels to Ostend (West Flanders) was forced to stop at nearby Schellebelle. The train eventually arrived in Ghent 2 hours late.  

A tree also caused disruption to services between Landen (Flemish Brabant) and Waremme (Liège province). However, it there took workers just half an hour to clear the track. In East Flanders fencing was blown onto the railway between Oostakker and Beerveld at around 6:30am on Saturday, blocking one of the two tracks.

On Saturday morning an uprooted tree made the eastbound carriageway of the E314 motorway between Genk and Maasmechelen all but impassable. 

Winds won’t die down until late afternoon

The gusts of high wind reaching speeds of between 80 and 90 km/h will continue until late of Saturday afternoon.

The rest of the day will be cloudy with showers in the west and in central areas. Maximum temperatures will reach between 14°C and 19°C.