Region - Large parts of South Holland, Zeeland and Noord-Brabant tonight hit by the biggest flood disaster in Dutch history. Whole villages and towns flooded. the death toll per hour continues on. According to the latest census, there are certain 190 people died.

The first report of the flood came from Dordrecht last night. The first report of the flood came from Dordrecht last night, The first report of the flood came from Dordrecht last night. Om 04:22 The first report of the flood came from Dordrecht last night.

The first report of the flood came from Dordrecht last night 1 februari 1953

The dikes in our area could not withstand the force of nature; a combination of spring tide and a heavy northwesterly storm with the force of a hurricane.

In a second flood wave, during the afternoon, the water was even much higher. Here too people were killed.

In dozens of places the dikes are broken or the water flowed over the dikes around. Large parts of the Hoekschewaard, Voorne-Putten and Goeree-Overflakkee flooded. Also pieces of Krimpenerwaard and Alblasserwaard flooded. In many other places it could, hard work of thousands of volunteers, to prevent. Sometimes only just.

In the rest of South Holland is preparing for the reception of tens of thousands of homeless people who have been touched by the violence water. It is already the largest evacuation in Dutch history. From the rest of the country comes to help the disaster area. blankets, clothing and food ... it's all very necessary.

It is very difficult for reporters to get a whole picture of the floods, the victims and the damage. They are faced with gruesome stories and traumatized people.

This article continues below this advertisement

Island Ijsselmonde

Thousands of men have been spending hours in the back to ensure that the dam would hold Ridderkerk. The water of the river, the North appears to be almost on the embankment. Thousands of people, farmers, Residents and soldiers, have been busy for hours with sandbags.

A family with seven children lived in a cottage outside the, is fled to the roof. All family members are numb, but safe, lowered. A lady hit the water on age, when the boat capsized, which she was transported to the side. She is finally rescued.

At the end of the afternoon it was clear that the dam would hold. Not only Ridderkerk, but also Slikkerveer, Bolnes and Ijsselmonde. in Poortugaal, Rhoon and Barendrecht walked a few polders or under water.


The southwestern part of the Alblasserwaard is under water. At three locations levees broke: in Papendrecht, Alblasserdam and near Sliedrecht.

In Papendrecht was the first wrong. The water was still standing higher and eventually flowed over the dam the lower land. Therefore calved rapidly down the embankment until a hole created. The water literally poured into the polder.

"In some quarters, the gap was fifty meters wide and deep still unfathomable meters behind the dike"

(Vrije Volk, 2-2-1953)

The dike breach is now 5.000 hectares of land under water. In some places in the polder the water is three meters high. Only roofs and treetops stabbing there still above the water.

The evacuation of the area is not without problems. The Alblasserwaard stories come from people who are firmly standing on the roads, because herds of cows on the road. Also, some farmers try as much as possible to carry furniture, but they still block the road to. Traffic jams are the result.

In Alblasserdam all villagers assembled on the dike, which has become an island in the water. pigs, which were driven from lower farmhouses, walk between the residents and the trucks.


As in other areas in Holland and Zeeland also Voorne-Putten badly affected by the water violence. The high water came up so quickly Oudenhoorn, many families and cattle were still in the farms. Village Abbenbroek stabbing only the houses in the village above the water.

In Southland residents have fled the town square. The houses around the square people are temporarily captured.

"Now and then a troop of refugees out. Women with pillowcases and bags, crammed clothes, boys and girls, some so small, they must be worn. Mother beats a blanket around the baby; The wind still fierce and it's raining. "

(Vrije Volk, 02-02-1953)

A part of the cattle around Southland is taken into account, and is tied to the gate of the park. There is still much uncertainty about the people who could not get away in time from the polder. The Mayor of South Land has called on motor boats to take a trip around the farms in the flooded area.

Hellevoetsluis is not accessible. The roads to the fortress were destroyed by the water. The water flows straight through the town, eyewitness report. At least five people were killed, but that is not confirmed by the authorities.


Vlaardingen is mainly industry severely affected by the floods. Alone has the fertilizer plant for more than a million guilders damage. Even companies such as Sunlight, Dutch Pelmolen, The Magnesite and Amarilfabrieken are heavily damaged.

There are no injuries in Vlaardingen. The lock at the Juliana Bridge was able to turn the water, even though it was only a few.

In Vlaardingen, account is indeed taken of further problems. Plans for an evacuation are ready. The sound truck that the message will be spread, state all hours ready to go.

To be sure is cleared part of a hospital.


The historic center of Maassluis is also completely under water. The flood boards are powerless to stop the floodwater.

At the Zandpad is an elderly lady killed, when she was surprised by the high water. Two facades of a building on the Piersonstraat collapsed by the fluid force.

The police have been up all night trying to elderly, bring sick and disabled people to safer places. They are collected in the part of Maassluis it was not dealing with floods.


The city of Dordrecht has not escaped the flood. At several places beaten big holes in dikes. The Krispijn Tunnel is only a small piece of the ceiling visible, the rest of the way is hidden under the water.

The water enters through a hole to the 's-Gravendeelsedijk the Island of Dordrecht within. There is a hole in the Noordendijk. In the center are almost all streets under water. It is a layer of a few tens of centimeters.

At the Bagijnhof was seen that mannequins of clothing C&A driven through the streets. On the river side drove the pieces of wood, from the Van Drimmelen timber plant in Zwijndrecht.

The highway direction Brabant (Moerdijk) was completely under water. Prime Minister Drees visiting Dordrecht today. The city will likely play an important role in the distribution of relief supplies in the coming days, is expected.


Especially the south side of the Hoekschewaard has been hit. 'S-Gravendeel, Strijen and Numansdorp drowned several people. How many are there is not yet clear, but the death toll could possibly exceed the hundred.

In other parts of the polder have hundreds of volunteers helped to strengthen the dikes. In places like Goudswaard, New Beijerland Oud-Beijerland is successful.

In Numansdorp that failed. The Schuringsedijk has two holes, one of which 150 meters wide. An amphibious vehicle of the army helped rescue people in the village and the polder. The vehicles still sail and to help people to dry.

Strijen only fifty houses have not been affected by the flooding. Part of the population has now moved to Oud-Beijerland.

Goeree Overflakkee

From Goeree-Overflakkee is little information, because the island is hardly accessible. To the extent known almost all polders underwater.

In Middelharnis five people were killed. Two victims were in the caravan surprised by the rising water. From the surrounding villages, many people fled to Middelharnis.

Of the other places on the island is no information yet known, which is not a good sign.

This article continues below this advertisement


In the Krimpenerwaard is a dike broken at Ouderkerk aan den IJssel. A house on the dike collapsed by the force of the water. The two occupants were killed.

The hole in the dike has been poem. For hours the water is poured through the hole in the embankment in the Krimpenerwaard. The hole could be sealed, a ship sailing in the hole. A large part of the population helps to prevent the water further flows into the polder.

In the rest of the polder is a huge exodus underway. Cattle trucks drive back and forth to bring the livestock to a safe area. many pigs, cows and sheep are brought to Gouda.

Queen Juliana itself come to size up. She first visited Ouderkerk and then drove, along with Princess Beatrix, to Lekkerkerk, Krimpen aan den IJssel Krimpen aan den Lek. The queen wanted to drive to Zeeland, but the roads did not allow it to.


The city of Gouda narrowly escaped the floods. The dam wall to keep the water beaten in haste against. Only residents of the lowest-lying areas of the city have been evacuated.

To prevent panic in the city alderman Polet decided not to ring the alarm bells. Not that many people have slept. Also, many volunteers helped in Gouda with the construction of temporary dikes, made from sandbags.


In Rotterdam flocked conventional parts of the city on. The North Island was nearly all white. Also at Oostzeedijk threatened the water coming over the levees. Numerous basements flooded full.

Most of the water was in the south of Rotterdam. Bloemhof was flooded, like Oranjeboomstraat. The police Katendrecht was severely damaged by the storm.

get because of the power problems people in Rotterdam, Vlaardingen, Scheidam and villages advice north of Rotterdam to use less power.


Tens of thousands of people have lost everything. They are still alive , but they have no roof over their heads. Their only possessions are the clothes they wear at the time of the disaster and the belongings they could save from the rising water. There's heaps of help.

The National Disaster Relief Fund in The Hague has started a fundraising campaign. "Emergency has descended on our country. Work centuries undone in a matter of moments ", as can be read in a call.

The trade union demonstration today in The Hague was largely dominated by the flood that took place tens of kilometers away. demanded the thousands of participants 'jobs for all', as could be read on the banners. Even before the demonstration began, the first unemployed went all buses in the direction of the affected area, because there was enough work available at that time. That it was possible unpaid, did nothing for them.

They were not the only. Solicited and unsolicited came many aid workers to the affected area to help. There firefighters arrived from Haarlem, Bloemendaal, Hilversum and Apeldoorn. Their help was desperately needed, because most firefighters were already in line for hours in the affected area.

Also launched at the local level, there are many actions. The municipality of Delft started a massive campaign, the entire civilian population was turned. Everyone is called to any clothing that may be missed to return to the municipality that long will all homes. Time to wash and repair is not, therefore only be adopted immediately wearable clothes.


In many places in the region are controlled shelters. In Rotterdam people collected at the Feyenoord Stadium. Also, people are collected at the Ahoy-halls.

At Ahoy is very busy day. Cars coming and going. Also, people are brought in trucks and buses.

The victims often have only some clothes and blankets with them. Talk they hardly do, because they are simply too tired. For many children, it is also the first time they are in the big city. In the hall people can register. Then there is food ready.

Many of Rotterdam will also look and help.

"The support of the Rotterdam population is above praise. A mother of six children took five small little home evacuation. Within half an hour she was back in the Ahoy hall with a suitcase full of clothes!” (Vrije Volk, 02-02-1953)


A picture of the damage to give hardly. According to the Ministry of Transport runs the damage in the tens of millions, but can be much higher.

The track was destroyed to a large extent. In Dordrecht, the rails up to the Zwijndrechtse bridge washed away almost completely. Also at Moerdijk, the big damage. Only between Rotterdam and The Hague are driving trains. In many places no replacement transport is also, because the buses are claimed for aid.

Most trams not. The RTM is fully disabled, with the exception of the line to Oostvoorne. RET only runs buses to the south of Rotterdam.

According to the Ministry of Transport will take months before the worst damage is repaired. How much the government will contribute to repairing the damage is not yet clear.

Hoe ging het verder?

No doubt the flood of 1953 The biggest natural disaster that hit the Netherlands after World War II.

are a total 1836 people in the Netherlands to life. Zo’n 100.000 People lost their homes. Tens of thousands of animals drowned.

The victims came 677 in South Holland (Most victims were in Zeeland). Oude-Tonge was hit hardest in South Holland 305 victims.

Cities such as Rotterdam and Dordrecht were hubs for the distribution of aid in the area. Within a few days, even evacuees from Zierikzee by ship transferred to Dordrecht.

The flood is always mentioned as the beginning of the Delta Works, but that's not entirely true. Already at the beginning of the twentieth century looked pointedly at the danger of high water. The afsluitdijk (1932) is a good example of. The Flood was a clear sign that had to be made more quickly. In 1958 the first part of the Delta Project was completed; Storm Surge Barrier IJssel.

Number of victims by city / town:

Oude Tonge - 305

New Tonge - 86

Stellendam – 62

Numansdorp - 56

Strijen – 41

'S Gravendeel - 36

Zuidland – 21

middelharnis – 18

Den Bommel - 9

Poortugaal – 6

Goedereede - 6

Hellevoetsluis - 5

Krimpen aan den IJssel - 4

Rhoon – 3

Ouderkerk aan den IJssel - 2

Papendrecht - 2

Ooltgensplaat – 2

Dordrecht – 2

Heinenoord - 2

Sliedrecht – 1

Rotterdam – 1

ouddorp – 1

Abbenbroek - 1

Groot-Ammers - 1

Maassluis - 1

Molenaarsgraaf – 1


The first report of the flood came from Dordrecht last night – The first report of the flood came from Dordrecht last night 1953 The first report of the flood came from Dordrecht last night.

Damage in the Hoekschewaard,

The disaster

The free People : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 02-02-1953

The Telegraph“. Amsterdam, 02-02-1953

Text: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-2017

story number: 35