Real damage revealed as water levels drop: "This will take years to repair"

Water levels are dropping slowly but surely in most parts of eastern Belgium, after this week's exceptional rainfall and floods, revealing the enormous damage. "We will need years to repair the damage," local mayors say. 

Chaudfontaine (Liège province) is one of the municipalities that was worst hit by the force of the water. Cleaning operations have started. "It is an apocalyptic picture", says Mayor Daniel Bacquelaine. "The damage is enormous. Roads have been ripped open and pavements have vanished. (...) It will take a lot of time to repair all this, probably years." The roads are littered with wreckages of cars and other debris. 

In Pepinster (Liège province) roads are still covered with mud where the water has gone. Local people may be allowed to have a look inside their homes again during the course of the day, to see how big the damage is. In districts that where hardest hit, the stability of the houses will be checked after the devastating floods. 

Rail infrastructure in various parts in Wallonia has been seriously damaged, it turns out. 

Meanwhile, the situation is improving in eastern Limburg along the River Meuse. The flood wall south of the town of Maaseik, in the village of Heppeneert, stood strong last night. The water of the Meuse is dropping; this morning water levels were about 70 centimetres below yesterday's peak (bottom photo). 

Watch the video below, taken in Pepinster: 

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Pictures: as water levels drop, the size of the devastation becomes clear

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