NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 21:06
The Maeslantkering in the Nieuwe Waterweg near Hoek van Holland is currently closed due to the high water in combination with storm Pia. Rijkswaterstaat reports this. It is the first time since its completion in 1997 that the barrier has closed due to high water. The flood defense also closed during a storm in 2007 and 2018, but at that time the water level was lower and systems were tested by Rijkswaterstaat.
The barrier has been closed since 8:15 PM and should be closed around 10:15 PM. The barrier is expected to be fully open again tomorrow morning around 6 a.m. Shipping traffic will then be able to travel via the Nieuwe Waterweg again, an important shipping connection for the port of Rotterdam.
The flood defense closes automatically at a water level of 3 meters above NAP at Rotterdam or 2.9 meters above NAP at Dordrecht. The two doors, each 210 meters wide and 22 meters high, fill with water when the barrier closes. They then sink to the bottom in about two hours. A computer system automatically determines whether the barrier should be closed. However, a team from Rijkswaterstaat is present to supervise.
Other flood defenses also closed
Now that the Maeslantkering is closing, the Hartelkering above the Hartelkanaal near Spijkenisse will also close. The Maeslant and Hartel barriers together form the Europoort barrier. If the Maeslantkering closes, the Hartelkering will also drop, according to Rijkswaterstaat.
The Maeslantkering is part of the Delta Works and protects the province of South Holland against high water from the sea. A spokeswoman for Rijkswaterstaat says there is no risk of flooding, but quays may be flooded.
Other flood defenses are also closed due to the high water in combination with the storm. This includes the Hollandsche IJsselkering near Capelle aan den IJssel, the Haringvliet locks in South Holland and the Oosterscheldekering in Zeeland. That is the largest Delta work in the Netherlands.