High water

The Netherlands is the river delta area from the big rivers flowing from
the mountains in Switzerland, Germany and France through the Netherlands
into the North sea. Also about 40% of the land is below sea level.

So flooding of big parts of the Netherlands occurred frequently throughout history.

Donkerblauw is land onder zeeniveau.  

This is a chart of The Netherlands, the thick red line is the border, on the right (east) with Germany and at the bottom (south) with Belgium.

The black dot in the left upper corner of the red oval is Gorinchem.

The dark blue area's are below sea level.

Flooding is caused by spring tide from the sea and by melting snow and heavy rain in the mountains of the neighbor countries causing rivers to break their banks.

 

Overstroming van de Alblasserwaard en Vijfherenlanden
In the early middle ages, the Dutch started to make dikes and from then the battle against the water was on.

On this picture you see members of the councils of Holland and West Friesland overlooking the flooding of the land around Gorinchem in 1741.

Kruiend ijs tegen de stadswallen van Gorinchem
At the breaking of the ice in the river Merwede, the ice shelves are piled up against the town walls by high winds and water.

 

Drawn by Cornelis Jonker, February the 20 Th 1799.

Een hoge berg ijsschotsen is ontstaan tegen de wal bij de Runmolen
Wind and current caused an enormous pile of ice shelves against a corner of the town wall at wind mill the "Runmolen".

Drawn by Cornelis Jonker, February the 20 Th 1799.

Dijkdoorbraak, let op de man, die met de kruiwagen gered wordt
Water and a pile of ice shelves breaking through a dike in 1799.
Het water breekt door de bekisting van de Lingehaven op de kruising Hoogstraat, Kortendijk en Langendijk.

 

 

On this picture you see the river water breaking through the piling in the year 1809.


This piling was normally put up, to prevent the river water flooding the town, when it raised so high, that it overflowed the bares of the Linge harbor.

Bij de Visbrug tussen de Hoogstraat en de Burgstraat is in de haven een wieling (draaikolk) ontstaan
Here you see the water flooding the bares of the Linge harbor and running along the houses.

The bridge on which the people are standing is causing a vortex in the harbor.

They probably try to move the bridge, because this phenomena could undermine the harbor and the houses.

Koning Lodewijk Napoleon op de Dalemsedijk, met links Loevestein en de Waal en rechts Gorinchem
Also during the flood of 1809, King Lodewijk Napoleon is trying to reach Gorinchem from the east.

Here you see the party on de "Dalemse" dike, with the ice piles in the river on the left and the flooded land on the right.

Koning Lodewijk Napoleon legt het laatste stuk per boot af, waarschijnlijk, omdat de dijk tussen Dalem en Gorinchem weggespoeld is
Between Dalem and Gorinchem the dike seemed to be gone completely, because this picture shows King Lodewijk Napoleon making the last piece by boat and approaching Gorinchem.
Hoog water uit het oosten, de rivier de Linge stroomd over de Lingesluis bij Ceelen, met rechts de Arkelpoort en de St. Jan toren
This picture shows the rising water of the river Linge in January the 26 Th 1820, overrunning the banks of the Linge lock at the north side of town.

At the right you see the town gate "Arkelpoort" and the "St. Jan" church tower.

Zinneprent, gemaakt ten bate van de slachtoffers van de dijkdoorbraken bij Brakel en Poederooijen
The flood of 1876, at 10 km east of Gorinchem, the dikes are broken, people seek refuge in Gorinchem.
Prent getekend door Jos Scheidel.

 

Hoog water tegen de bekisting in de Dalempoort. High water against the piling in town gate De Dalem-
poort
Het water van de Merwede staat tegen de stadswallen. The water
of the river Merwede rising against the town walls
.
Rivierwater Buiten de Waterpoort bedreigt de patattent. The river water at 50 m from town gate De Waterpoort De bankejes langs het hoger gelegen Wilhelminapark hebben al natte voeten. The water
is flooding the
parkway benches.
Het lager gelegen deel is al overstroomd, rechts ziet u de dukdalven van de olieboot aanlegplaats. The lower part of the park is already flooded. Slot Loevestein gezien vanaf de Merwededijk bij Fort Vuren, is nu geheel door water omgeven. Nearby castle Loevestein surroun-
ded completely by water.
Het water stroomd over de zomerdijk bij Loevestein. The water is over-
flowing the summer dike at Loevestein
De polder Munnickenland stroomd vol waardoor Loevestein een eiland wordt. The flooding water is now surroun-
ding Loevestein castle.
De overstroming gaat de avond in en zal nog enige uren duren.

The flooding is going on into the evening.

An aerial view of the flooding with Gorinchem in the background.

 

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