GlobalFloods in Walloon Brabant: “It’s desperate”, “it’s the second time in three...

Floods in Walloon Brabant: “It’s desperate”, “it’s the second time in three years, and it’s worse this time”

At Louis Delhaize in Walhain, we are working hard to clean up and observe the damage. ©DR

Rue des Déportés, near Notre Dame church, John is scraping away the water but especially the mud that has entered his house: “It’s the second time in 3 years and it’s worse this time”, confides the retiree who lives near Hain. Since the floods of July 2021, the family had prepared by emptying the cellar. All that remains is the boiler. Unfortunately the cellar was waterlogged until the firefighters arrived to empty it.

Floods of Sunday May 12, 2024 in Walhain.  For residents, these floods are worse than in 2021.
John lives right next to Hain. His cellar, where the boiler is located, has completely ended up under water. ©DR

A little further down, rue des Combattants, the Louis Delhaize and the pharmacy also suffered water damage. “In 2021, it was less of a disaster in the store. We had time to reassemble the goods and there was less water explains Pamela, the manager. “There was water up to half the barriers.” continues Gérard, a neighbor, “And in the pharmacy everything that is in the drawers must be thrown away. What also did not help with these and previous floods, according to Gérard, was also the new constructions: “Behind my house, there were fields and the old football field. Today there is the Bia Bouquet complex. I saw the water rushing down this street at a 15% slope, up here”.

Floods of Sunday May 12, 2024 in Walhain.  For residents, these floods are worse than in 2021.
Neighbor of the pharmacy and Delhaize, Gérard presents the damage to us. ©DR

Further down still, in front of Hain, Jean also admits that it was worse than the last time. The entire basement of his house, refurbished for his daughter’s catering service, was filled with water, he explains to us. For his wife Georgette, the problem also comes from the new constructions: “this will bring even more water into the stream especially since the connection to the sewers has not been made. And then, it also has the bridge which acts as a barrier”. Having lived in Walhain for 50 years, she has the impression that there were no floods before. From there to knowing if it is because of the constructions, she asks the question. Jean, on the other hand, returns to the weather: “Now, it hasn’t stopped raining since October, the land is waterlogged and therefore it no longer retains anything”.

Floods of Sunday May 12, 2024 in Walhain.  For residents, these floods are worse than in 2021.
The entire basement of Jean and Georgette’s house was flooded. It’s all the more dramatic since everything was arranged for their daughter’s catering service. ©DR

A few houses further, at Muriel’s, the observation of these floods is bitter. “We had already had the floods of 2021. We had redone the terrace, the kitchen and we had redesigned the drainage so that it wouldn’t happen again. I did my part on my part but on the other, no one did anything about this open sewer (Hain). It is hopeless”. Muriel points out the lack of solutions when the climatic context and previous floods should have provided them. For her, developments should be made to widen the stream and also rethink the way of building.

Floods of Sunday May 12, 2024 in Walhain.  For residents, these floods are worse than in 2021.
L’Hain has now returned to its bed, but all the adjacent houses and vehicles are damaged. ©DR
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