A “flood walk” through the town of Dordrecht

Today, one of my colleagues and I had some business in the town of Dordrecht. We decided to go early and do the “flood walk” that was advertised on the municipality’s website. The walk takes you through the old city, to places that have some relation with water in general and flooding specifically. I found it surprising to see that many houses are built in such a way that they are ‘robust’ to flooding. Below are some pictures taken today.

A little difficult to see maybe, but this street leads up to the city's main levee, right in the middle of town. The levee is now a shopping street (called Voorstraat), making it difficult to raise its level.

The door to this design studio is at street level, but within the building you have to go up a ramp to reach "ground floor", about one or two metres up from the street level.

The 1953 flood caused the water to rise until MSL+3.73m. In this location, that was about 1.8 metres above street level. The flood caused overtopping of the main levee at Voorstraat.

Some houses -but far fewer than I had expected- are fitted with a frame for flood boards. When flooding is expected, the boards are installed, adding some 50cm or so extra protection.

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2 Responses to A “flood walk” through the town of Dordrecht

  1. A practical example showing that people, despite the existence of an imminent, raised an infrastructure (Voorstraat). My question is: If the occurrence of a flow who pays for the damage.

    thank you very much

    • Jan says:

      hi Alberto, that is a good question. The short answer to your question would be: I don’t know. In any case it is not possible to get flood insurance in the Netherlands, so we can eliminate the insurance industry. Possibly, it depends on where one lives: if outside of the areas protected by the levees, then any flood damage is paid for by the people themselves, I imagine. If inside the levees, then maybe it depends on whether or not the levees are raised to legally required levels of protection. If they are, the residual risk has to be accepted by people themselves, if not, then maybe the risk should be carried by the government? This would seem fair to me. Again, I don’t know for sure, but it’s a good question and I’ll make sure to ask somebody that does know. If and when I get a reply, I’ll post here.

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