Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

As many as 24,000 buildings damaged in July’s floods. 3,200 homes already (partially) demolished.

The Walloon Housing Minister Christophe Collignon (Francophone socialist) has said in an interview that an estimated 24,000 buildings were damaged in mid-July’s devastating flooding. 3,200 homes that were damaged in the floods have already been completely or partially demolished. A further 400 are likely to meet a similar fate during the coming weeks. 

Speaking in an interview with the Francophone Sudpress newspaper group, Mr Collignon said that the 24,000 damaged buildings are spread across 36 municipalities in Liège and Namur provinces. The figure of 24,000 buildings is bases on an extrapolation of figures collected so far from insurance companies and the local authorities in the stricken areas. "We haven’t been able to send someone to every house to look at what the exact situation is”, Mr Collignon said.

The 24,000 buildings don’t only include residential properties, but also company premises and shops. Moreover, not every building has been damaged to such an extent that it is no longer inhabitable. While some buildings have indeed been rendered uninhabitable, others only suffered flooding in their cellars. 

9 municipalities “extremely heavily impacted”

Of the 36 municipalities that were badly affected by the flooding 9 were “extremely heavily impacted”. These are Trooz, Limbourg, Pepinster, Theux, Verviers, Liège, Esneux-Tilff, Chaudfontaine and Rochefort

Mr Collignon has committed a further 30 million euro to help the stricken municipalities. This comes on top of the 5 million euro his department has already spent there. 

Since the flooding 3,200 buildings have already been (partially) demolished and a further 400 are likely to face a similar fate. Mr Collignon says that it is still not clear how many people are homeless due to the flooding. "A lot of people have found temporary accommodation somewhere. However, in many cases this is not a long-term solution”.

On Thursday the Walloon Government increased the level of financial support it provides to enable the victims of flooding to move house and help with rent and the costs of setting up home at a new location. 

The Walloon Government has also issued a tender for the rental of machines to remove damp and for heat blowers. The Walloon authorities wish to hire 3,000 such machines for a period of 12 weeks. They will be used to dry out 3,000 homes.  

Top stories