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Heavy rain causes flooding in parts of East and West Flanders

Heavy rain on Friday night caused flooding in the Beernem area of West Flanders and in the area around the East Flemish town of Oudenaarde. Numerous roads in both areas were closed due to the flooding. In Oudenaarde several streams burst their banks and the cellars of some homes were flooded. 

In the Beernem and Oedelgem areas of West Flanders as much as 46 litres of rain per M² fell during Friday night. Roads were closed and at some locations the water had still not subsided by Saturday morning. The Mayor of Beernem Jos Sypré (Christian democrat) told VRT News that Friday night’s flood was the worst experienced there in many years.

Elsewhere, the area around the East Flemish town of Oudenaarde also suffered some localised flooding. Oudenaarde is in a valley and numerous streams that flow down from the hills that surround the town pass through Oudenaarde on their way to the River Scheldt. Luitenant Johnathan Joubet of the Flemish Ardennes Fire Service told VRT New that he and his team had no shortage of work.

"Some houses were in danger of being flooded and the cellars of several buildings were under water. Water levels in a number of flood defence reservoirs had reached critical levels. There was simply too much water”. The area around the Maarkebeek and the Zwalmbeek in Oudenaarde were particularly badly hit and the Fire Service deployed sandbags to protect homes from flooding. However, no one was evacuated.

A few kilometres away in the Walloon province of Hainaut there were issues with flooding in the municipalities of Ellezelles and Flobecq. There the Fire Service was called out around 20 times to deal with flood-related issues.

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