6 months after the floods, SPW employees "not yet fully trained" in the European warning system

Six months after the deadly floods in mid-July, “our practices have evolved, strategic avenues are being followed and concrete action plans are ready“even if they will still evolve according to the conclusions of the parliamentary commission of inquiry on the floods, assured Etienne Willame, the director general of the SPW Mobility and Infrastructure (MI), Friday, during his second hearing before this same commission .

This summer, our procedures worked, but controlling nature is impossible“, he repeated at the outset before answering parliamentarians’ questions. Among them, the use of the European alert system Efas – largely ignored during the floods despite the issuance of several alerts from the start of the week – returned to the mat.

Our employees have not yet been fully trained“, admitted Etienne Willame when he was questioned on the subject by Marie-Martine Schyns (cdH).


►►► Read also : Floods in Belgium, six months later: how to organize our way of living near waterways?


Efas is a decision support tool, alongside the tools that we already master. But when we are faced with data, the question will always arise of these models which accumulate inaccuracies“, he added while assuring nevertheless”continue to invest in Efas and follow the evolution of its promising products“.

Contacts with IRM are also continuing. But I don’t think Wallonia should have meteorological skills. It is a complex matter; let us use the experience where it exists. On the other hand, it would be interesting to work with the university world, with a view to bringing all the expertise into a common dynamic.“, also continued the head of the SPW MI.

His hearing was preceded by that, behind closed doors, of Christophe Grifgnée, head of the eastern dam district of the Walloon administration. It will be followed, in the afternoon, by the testimony of Jean-Marc Demelenne, director of the Direction of Coordination and Deconcentrated Support of Liège.

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