Family to the hips in the water after thunderstorms: ‘The water came from the sewer, past the gate and through the stairs’

Ilke Verhoevens beautiful house in Turnhout, a city in the north of Belgium, suffered heavy water damage after the thunderstorm. Its not the first time, but its never been as bad as it is now. โ€œWe have a basement, part of the house is half below ground level. That part was completely underwater. I saw the water rise up against the windows. It came from everywhere. Out of the sewer, along the gate and down the stairs. It was horrible.โ€

Neighbors and friends helped Ilke empty the affected areas and raining the water on Friday night. It was an unstarted work. โ€œI do not understand that the city did not warn us when we built here in 2009. They did impose on us to install a pitched roof, but they didnt tell us that this is one of the lowest points of Turnhout, and very water-sensitive. They should have forced us to build three steps above ground level.โ€

40,000 euros of damage

Ilke and her family love living in the charming house, despite the misery they have already experienced there. โ€œIn 2016, space was also flooded. Then the water was 5 centimeters high. The damage was estimated at 40,000 euros afterwards. In 2018 we renewed everything. Built-in wardrobes, a wooden element that is inside bathroom and on the outside cabinet. Probably, these constructions will have to be renewed again. I dont have to think about what kind of agony it will be this time until all the damage is compensated. Maybe the insurance will rule us out afterwards?โ€

She continues: โ€œEvery year in this neighbourhood we have to deal with nuisance. My neighbor turned old in the ninety years and has always lived here. She knows no better than that after a heavy rain shower, everything is white. But, of course, we only hear that after we built here. If only they had warned us then.โ€