Dutch flood videos
September 20, 2005 6:37 AM   Subscribe

Newsreels [Windows Media] from the Flood of 1953 in the Netherlands.
posted by Wolfdog (7 comments total)
Direct links to streams, in case you or your browser disagrees with the embedded video: 1,2,3.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:38 AM on September 20, 2005

Hearing this voice, the announcer for the old Polygoon newscasts, instills a certain deep nostalgia in the Dutch, even when you are far too young to have heard it in the original broadcasts. As far as I can tell from watching the first few minutes, the voice-over pretty much describes the imagery, offering some local details, but if anyone wants anything specific translated, just shoot.

Good find, Wolfdog.

(BTW, the domain this post link to, "deltawerken.com", refers to the Delta Works, the gargantuan flood prevention system conceived after the flood of '53.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:49 AM on September 20, 2005

Bush doesn't care about Dutch people.
posted by Pendragon at 7:18 AM on September 20, 2005

Nice find Wolfdog.
posted by three blind mice at 7:26 AM on September 20, 2005

When I saw "Windows Media: High Quality - Low Quality" I though we were voting.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:42 AM on September 20, 2005

I got a little annoyed at the fake "blowing wind" sound effect, but I suppose that was an unavoidable method of art at the time.

Interesting to read about the flood and find that it was caused by a European windstorm, sometimes termed a hurricane, though there's nothing tropical about it. (Funny, on Wikipedia after Katrina some troll whined that "only Americans have special names for big storms" but it seems that Europeans sometimes appropriate those names!)

I also found it interesting that one dike break was plugged by sailing a ship into it. I wondered why they didn't try something similar in New Orleans with a barge or two (although there were more breaks than the 17th street canal, that was the big one). It seemed like a logical thing to try under the circumstances.

The most unsettling thing was learning that both the Thames Barrier and the Delta Works, including the Oosterscheldekering, were direct responses to the 1953 floods.

These projects were not completed until the mid-1980s.

It's my opinion that Lake Pontchartrain needs a storm surge barrier, but I hope we don't have to wait 30 years for it.
posted by dhartung at 3:51 PM on September 20, 2005

dhartung: I think the break on the 17th street canal was about 300' but not especially deep. Different geometry, and I'm not sure it was quite the same as regards earthwork construction versus more jagged materials.

But I'm glad to see this archive; I try to explain 1953 to people outside the Netherlands and they just look at me strangely. Though not Dutch I lived in-country for some years and the hydraulic system is absolutely amazing.
posted by trigonometry at 12:06 AM on September 21, 2005

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