TESTIMONY. “Come, please, help”: a resident trapped in his house describes the “rapid” floods in Belgium


“If they come to pick us up, we’re ready to evacuate.” Loïc Collette took refuge in the floors of his flooded house in Liège, Thursday, July 15, with four other members of his family and his four dogs. Monster floods affected Belgium but also Germany, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, killing dozens. Due to the exceptional flood of the Meuse, the Belgian authorities have ordered the inhabitants of Liège who can do so to go to the heights of the city.

>> Follow the evolution of the floods in Germany and Belgium in our direct

Loïc Collette, a 22-year-old computer graduate, is desperately waiting to be evacuated by the emergency services, who have not yet been seen in his street. After 24 hours of anguish, this inhabitant of the Chênée district confides his ordeal to franceinfo.

View of the flooded garden of the house of Loïc and his family. & Nbsp;  (Loic Collette)

It all started, Wednesday, in the middle of the afternoon. While Loïc watches the July 14 parade in Paris on television, he realizes that torrential rains keep falling on his town. The level of the Vesdre, a tributary of the Ourthe (which itself flows into the Meuse), increases dangerously.

“It happened very quickly, the sewers were quickly submerged, then water started to flood our cellar”, he says. After the basement and the garden, it is the ground floor of the two-storey house that is affected. In a rush, Loïc and his family prepare food and some things, before going upstairs with their animals.

First reflex: call for help. “They told us that they were in high demand and that they did not want to give us false hope, because it would take several hours before they came to see us “, relates the young man. “It’s shocking to live that. Our neighbor told us that in forty years of presence in Chênée, he had never seen that”, he continues.

Faced with the outbursts of “Mother Nature”, Loïc tries to keep his “cold blood”. But the help does not arrive and the computer scientist “panic a little” by questioning the resistance of the foundations of the house.

Interior view of Loïc's house completely flooded. & Nbsp;  (Loïc Collette)

Thursday afternoon, the building was still holding up. The losses were however important for the family of the young Belgian. “The water has destroyed a large part of our life, the ground floor is 80% flooded, I am sad and shocked”, repeats Loïc.

If there are enough provisions and water left to last a few more days, “the situation remains uncomfortable”. At the beginning of the afternoon, Loïc launched a new call for help on social networks.

“Help came this morning to another street. Why didn’t they come to see us?, he wonders. The situation can become very difficult for the frail. “



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