The flood of 1916
During the floods of 1916, the island of Marken and the fishing villages of Spakenburg and Volendam were badly affected. Sixteen victims fell on Marken and houses collapsed or washed away. In Spakenburg, the botters were brutally beaten against the houses. In the low-lying part of Volendam, where the highest water level was measured, water was in some places up to the roof edge of the houses.
Other regions around the Zuiderzee were also affected. In the night of 13 to 14 January 1916 the Anna Paulownapolder in North Holland fell prey to seawater. At that time there was still an open connection between the North Sea and the Zuiderzee. In the current IJsselmeer ther was ebb and flow. The Amsteldijk collapsed due to a combination of a large amount of melt and rainwater from the rivers flowing into the Zuiderzee, a violent storm and high water.. Seawater flowed into the Oostpolder over a length of about 150 meters and flooded all the lands. Fortunately, most residents and the livestock, about 3,000 cows, were evacuated in time. There were two fatalities. The seawater found its way to the Westpolder, where it was eventually stopped by the somewhat higher railway track.
After the disaster, the holes in the dikes were repaired as soon as possible and reinforcements were added along the railway track by means of wooden formwork with a filling of heavy clay. Large numbers of sandbags were brought in by train. So-called ‘girder cables’ in the water along the embankment reduced the wave action. After this, the pumping of the water was started with a large diesel pump from the navy. The tube of this pump had a diameter of one and a half meters and therefore a large capacity. 3,300 hectares of land had been flooded, causing a lot of damage.