THE 1995 flood (the near disaster)
At the end of January 1995, the already high water levels rose due to persistent heavy rainfall. The center of the city of Cologne was flooded, at Lobith, where the Rhine flows into the Netherlands, the water level rose two meters in one day, at Zaltbommel the Waal rose to one meter. On January 31, a record height of 16.63 meters above sea level was measured at Lobith. In the entire river area, the water was almost to the top of the dikes.
On January 31, it was decided to evacuate a number of large areas along the Waal. In the Ooijpolder and Land van Maas en Waal, a total of 30,000 residents had to evacuate, in the Betuwe 140,000. On February 1, a dike at Ochten aan de Waal began to shift and a great alarm was raised. Hundreds of soldiers and dozens of local volunteers were deployed to make the dike heavier with sandbags and the village was evacuated more quickly on the order of the mayor. In the meantime, the water at Lobith had risen further to 16.68 meters above sea level.
From February 2, the water began to sink rapidly and I was afraid that now that the pressure of the high water dropped, the water-saturated dikes would collapse. Fortunately, the village was spared and the residents were able to return to their homes from 4 February.
A video report by Omroep Gelderland about the extremely high water levels of the rivers in 1995 that almost led to a major flood disaster!