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16 May 2022
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The port is located outside the flood defence system. What are the implications for you?

Areas behind the flood defence system are protected by a network of dikes and flood defences, and the government is responsible for this system. The situation is different with unprotected areas outside the flood defence system. Here, residents, businesses and asset owners themselves are responsible for measures to prevent flooding.

Areas flood defence system

Although the Rotterdam port area is located outside the flood defence system, with open connections to the North Sea, it is well protected against flooding at present. Port areas are constructed relatively high above sea level, and they are protected in part by storm surge barriers, making the port of Rotterdam one of the most water-secure ports in the world.

The Maeslant storm surge barrier is located in the port area. In combination with the Hartel storm surge barrier and the Rozenburg diked area, it makes up the Europoort Barrier. When water levels are high (NAP +3 metres), the barriers are closed to protect the hinterland and therefore, in part, the port area. When the barriers are closed, the river water level can increase. This can also lead to water levels higher than NAP +3 metres. The failure probability for the Maeslant barrier is currently 1:100. This means that, statistically speaking, the barrier will fail to close one time in a hundred on average, for example because of a technical malfunction. Businesses will be affected to some extent by flooding only when weather conditions are extreme. Until now, that has been seen in the port to a limited degree only, if at all. However, this does not mean that additional measures are unnecessary.