Yesterday evening in the TV news and today in the national newspaper, I heard about the terrible bad weather in the north of England. Lots of storm winds and heavy floodings, causing entire regions (especially in Yorkshire) to be affected.
Whenever I hear about such disasters, I think back of the tales my own grandmother and mother told me about 1953.
Way back then, the river Schelde broke through the dikes and caused big floodings in both Holland and parts of Belgium.
My ma told us they could hear the water coming. They knew the dams in Holland had already been breached, and they kept out an eye on the water of De Forten (part of the medieval moat that was around the town of Dendermonde). It comes near to the river Dender, which mounds into the Schelde.
One morning, very early, they heard something like a thunderstroke and then they knew. The water had broken through the dike further uptown and water was coming their way. They just had time to bring some food upstairs and some coal (they had a little stove in one of the bedrooms) - that was all.
In just a few minutes, more than one meter and a half was into our house (you could see the watermark until I had the walls treated for moisture). It was there for days.
The most frustrating thing, however, was that the Red Cross came with boats to bring food and coal - but weeks later they also got the bill. My grandma was raving mad for that. It was not enough the house was half destroyed, but then they should also PAY for some charity.
Well, they must have build strong houses in the 1920's. Our house is still standing and looks better than some houses built in 1980.