The Walloon government has held a conclave in recent days to monitor the floods and above all to specify the efforts that will have to be made to rebuild everything that was destroyed or damaged during the floods in mid-July. An inventory has been drawn up. The areas in which the Walloon Region will be called upon to intervene are numerous. Whether it is public or private buildings, businesses, bridges, roads, riverbanks, schools, gas, electricity or telecommunications networks or the agricultural sector, the list of damage is impressive.
Almost all of the Walloon territory
One need only look at the map of the areas affected by the floods in mid-July to realize the extent of the damage. Only the west of the Walloon region has been spared, roughly all of western Hainaut and a few municipalities in the Borinage, the Center region and part of Brabant Wallon. In the rest of the Walloon territory, 209 municipalities have been recognized with a view to intervention from the disaster fund. The total surface of the flooded areas is 9,673 hectares…
Many buildings to rebuild or rehabilitate
The inventory drawn up by the Special Reconstruction Commission, set up by the Walloon Region, estimates, after observation on the ground, at 23,920 the number of residential buildings affected. A majority of these buildings, 20,337 have little or no visible damage from the outside. But 3,216 buildings were partially destroyed, with damage visible from the outside. 159 buildings were destroyed and 208 are subject to a dangerous or demolition order.
The municipalities, for their part, have identified private housing affected by the floods. 31,564 homes were damaged. In 18,219 dwellings, considered to be little damaged, the water rose by less than 30 cm on the ground floor. In 12,891 homes, badly damaged, there was more than 30 cm of water. Finally, nearly 450 homes were destroyed, are subject to a demolition order or are likely to be destroyed.
The administrative buildings were not spared. 58 of them were affected, not counting schools and nurseries.
The list is not closed: 185 sports facilities were affected by the rising waters.
Infrastructure to rebuild
According to estimates by the Special Commission for Reconstruction, 96.4 km of local roads were affected by the floods, or an area of 578 million square meters under water …
In addition, there are 48 km of regional roads closed or with limited traffic.
220 local bridges were damaged during bad weather. There could be more because the inventory of impacted municipal bridges has not yet been fully completed.
Bridges managed by the Walloon Region are also affected. 45 bridges were closed for inspection or because we already know that they will require work.
The Walloon Region will also have to take care of numerous hydraulic engineering structures: buildings to be renovated, walls or banks to be inspected, demolished, rebuilt. 18 hydraulic engineering structures are currently shut down and must be repaired as a priority. 13 others, in service, will have to be repaired in the short term.
Public housing, heritage, schools …
1,562 buildings belonging to public housing companies will have to be subject to fees. 262 will have to be destroyed. 640 were badly damaged.
Walloon heritage has not been spared. 225 recognized properties and sites will require intervention. The Abbey of Stavelot, for example, or that of Villers-la-Ville were affected.
All networks combined, 119 schools have recorded damage. The largest number is concentrated in the province of Liège, 68 establishments.
Tourism, businesses, agriculture: here too damage
Many tourist operators have been affected by the floods. This has been the case for many places of accommodation. In the provinces of Liège, Luxembourg, Namur and Hainaut, 136 places of this type were affected, including around fifty campsites, 21 hotels and around fifty “local tourism” establishments. About forty tourist attractions are also concerned. In total, 203 tourist operators were identified as having suffered damage following the floods.
On the business side, 2,624 business buildings were affected by the rising water levels. In the vast majority of cases, i.e. 2,092 companies, the damage is hardly or not visible from the outside. However, around seventy business buildings have been destroyed or will be demolished. 456 others were partially destroyed.
In the agricultural sector, yield losses could be recorded in 2182 plots of meadows and 368 plots of crops.
Electricity, gas, telecommunications
In mid-September, according to figures presented by the Special Commission for Reconstruction, set up by the Walloon Region, many Walloon households were still affected by damage to the electricity, gas or telecommunications networks. In the figures, there were 4,200 households still “impacted” at Proximus and 8,700 at RESA.
The picture would not be complete if we forgot the 155,000 tonnes of waste to be removed and treated.