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Thousands of liters of water enter the supermarket, but customers ... (Michellen)

Thousands of liters of water enter the supermarket, but customers … (Michellen)


Because of the thunderstorm, water fell from the sky in buckets Friday evening. Also in Mechelen, where the Carrefour Express has been largely inundated. It was thousands of liters of water. Customers whose feet were wet are still welcome during clearing.

Sven van Heisendonk, Theo Dirkendern

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It rained so heavily on Friday, that sewers can no longer absorb rainwater in many places. Also on Battelsesteenweg in Mechelen and they knew it on the Carrefour Express. “The excess water simply flowed into the store through our parking lot. There was nothing stopping it,” says manager Werner Verhoeven. He has been running his own supermarket in Mechelen for eleven years.

The flood was not new to him. “In our early years, we sometimes struggled with that a few times a year, but it’s been a few years now. But is that bad? No, I didn’t know that yet,” says the man.

Staff and job seekers were busy on Friday to dry up the store again. Thousands of liters of rainwater flowed into the building unimpeded. As a result, a significant part of the store was several centimeters under water.

Manager Werner Verhoeven in his flooded shop. © Sven van Heisendonk

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Anyone who came to do the shopping was guaranteed to have wet feet. However, there were many customers who took a risk. The director has not yet been able to determine the extent of the damage. “That remained to be seen. The electrical appliances might have been damaged,” Verhoeven says. Here and there, his products also had damage in the store.

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Also the water in the neighbours

Fortunately, he got help from the firefighters to fight the floods. The Rivierenland Fire Department sent a team from the Mechelen site to pump water from the overflow pit. “I estimate that it can easily handle ten thousand liters of water, but with such a thunderstorm, it fills up in a very short time,” says Werner Verhoeven. An underground parking garage for residents of an adjacent apartment building was also flooded.

A local resident is angry and blames the problems on clogged sewers. According to a city employee, people really dump everything into those wells when it’s not allowed: oil, cement residue, paint residue. “This causes problems,” he says. The aggrieved supermarket manager doesn’t want to point the finger at anyone. “This is a case of force majeure. It doesn’t rain a lot every day,” Verhoeven says.

The sewage system in Battelsesteenweg can no longer absorb rainwater.

The sewage system in Battelsesteenweg can no longer absorb rainwater. © Sven van Heisendonk