It was … windy. This was probably the strongest wind I ever encountered in my whole life so far (at least as I can remember). In Amsterdam some people died from falling trees and also here in Almere wind gusts were strong enough to break down trees:
The trains stopped or were going at reduced intervals
The NS (train service provider) announced already on Thursday (17.02), that there will be reduced trains going through the Netherlands. The University closed down presence courses for the whole day. Whoever could, was doing home-office for the day.
Fire brigades were overwhelmed by calls
The weather situation was getting serious during the day. Fire brigades warned the people to stay indoors whenever possible and shared also some information about when to call them and when not
Remember people: If your own tree falls down in your own garden without hitting anything dangerous, do not call the fire brigade.
You are grown up. You can do it yourself.
Still at some point in the evening, the Brandweer Flevoland posted that they are totally overwhelmed by calls and people should only call in life threatening situations. As a former volunteer firefighter I can tell you, people call because of everything. It is understandable, that the fallen down apple tree in your own garden, you know, the inherited one from your grandma where you spend your whole life as a kid, is a personal drama. Noone ever tells you anything different. But also: this is also something you can deal with alone and you do not need the fire brigade for this.
At least not now, when we are having 100 calls from people with trees that are about to crash into their houses if not someone is going to cut them down in the next hour because THERE’S A FREAKING TREE ABOUT TO CRASH INTO PEOPLES HOUSES! Thank you for calling.
Back to shoring
We’re living here in a rental house where the inherited garden fences were … of questionable quality. We had already some wind problems with them in the past and I was kinda worried, that something is going to happen. Of course, something was going to happen.
The absolute mean part of this thing was, that I was in the process of building improvised shoring structures to reinforce the fence components, most vulnerable to wind gusts.
I was part of the international USAR team of at-Fire for some years (now retired) and I’ve learned a thing or two about shoring. Also, I used this as an perfect excuse to de-dust my old duty helmet. Not gonna lie, I enjoyed the building here far more than I’m comfortable to admit 😅😆
After fixing the most urgent things, I put my gear aside just in case. I was trained to get and stay ready for years, and I think this is just my instincts kicking in. If you are long enough doing rescue stuff, this is who you are. Also if you are not in active duty anymore … I guess in my heart I just never left.
Saving our plants!
The wind was howling. So strong, that we even put some of our freshly sprouting tulips inside, just to protect them from bending.
They like this a lot. Due to the warmth some of the bulbs start to grow like crazy. Sorry little ones, you will go back outside once it’s safe for you to do so in a couple of days …
Some more pictures
I just leave them here without further description