Recently Holland got visited by a very heavy storm; it was called “Friederike” and arrived around midnight.
At 09.00 AM a weather alarm was given for several provinces in Holland and Belgium, including the area where the Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Antwerpen ports are. Wind speeds over 100km/h were reached and which equals wind speed 11 (“very heavy storm”) on a scale up to 12 (“hurricane”). It was the second big storm already in 2018 but this one seemed much stronger.
During the morning it became clear that this wasn’t just some ordinary storm. The daily life was highly influenced; there were no trains running, trees got ripped out of the ground, houses and buildings got heavily damaged with complete roofs flying off. The traffic suffered from many accidents with mostly blown-over trucks and falling trees causing major jams. Sadly there were three deaths found due to the storm.
Also the ports of the ARA-region (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp) were suffering a lot from the storm. It quickly became clear that the pilots decided not to sail further because of the very strong wind and high waves. Therefore there were no ships at all entering or leaving the ports.
Truck parkings were flooded with truck drivers not being able to unload, since their vessel wasn´t coming in soon.
However there was a vessel already in port which required some urgent repairs on their equipment. Due to the weather the crew was concerned whether it would be possible at first place to get the equipment from board. We liaise with the launch boats whether we could still retrieve these items from board. Around noon, the storm lost force for a short while, which opportunity allowed the launch boats to safely reach the vessel and collect the equipment from board, to joy to the crew.
We could safely get the equipment to our workshop to perform the necessary repairs.The next day, when the storm had passed by, we connected the spares in good working order back to the vessel. Meanwhile the ports were open again, and regular daily life started off again.