Yesterday the Netherlands was lashed by a serious storm, the biggest in however many years.
At work we watched the cloud radar and the weather updates online, while outside the building was lashed with winds over 100 km/hr. At one point the raindrops were moving up the window panes. The office is near enough to Schiphol that we could see the planes bouncing around and drifting south as they fought the cross wind. I was happy to be on the ground and indoors.
At about 3pm we heard that Amsterdam central station was closed due to damage and that there were no trains going to Utrecht or much of the east of the Netherlands. I live and work in Amsterdam but I was starting to feel nervous about getting home, and decided to head home at the next break in the weather before it got dark. One of my colleagues scoffed, and said I was panicking. However when I got into the centre of the city I found that trams had already stopped, and police were moving through the city advising people to go home. No late night shopping then!
As it turns out if I’d waited much longer I would have been stuck in the office until 9 or 10 pm, and the colleague who scoffed didn’t get home until after 10.
Surveying the damage on the way to work I saw that the ivy had been torn off a neighbouring building, various tiles had flown of nearby houses and smashed on the ground near the church, and a tree had fallen down and been chopped into more managable pieces on Lindengracht. On the bus trip into work I saw numerous bikes that had been securely locked to rails on Wednesday night, now spun through the rails and nosediving into the canal.