05 July 2023, by Victoria Séveno   |  Updated: 05 July 2023

Train traffic in the northern parts of the Netherlands has been brought to a standstill and Schiphol Airport has cancelled over 700 flights on Wednesday as the country battles code red Storm Poly. 

Dutch Weather Institute issues code red weather warning

The Dutch Weather Institute (KNMI) issued a code red warning for stormy weather in the provinces of North Holland, Flevoland and Friesland on Wednesday, July 5. Experts warn that these parts of the country can face winds of 100 to 120 kilometres per hour. Code orange warnings have been issued for four other provinces: South Holland, Overijssel, Drenthe and Groningen. 

The codes have been issued as the Netherlands gets to grips with Storm Poly – the country’s first official summer storm since 2020, and the most severe summer storm ever seen in the Netherlands. The Dutch government has issued NL Alerts to mobile phones located in the worst-affected areas, advising members of the public to stay home. As it currently stands, weather warnings will be in place until the early hours of the afternoon.

Travel across the Netherlands affected by Storm Poly 

As the country prepared for the storm on July 4, Tuesday evening saw the KNMI warn those who planned to commute to work or school on Wednesday morning to expect a busy rush hour. Since then, the Rijkswaterstaat has warned drivers to avoid motorways in provinces where a code red is in effect. A number of roads – including parts of the A1, A6, A9 and A10 – have been closed as a result of the storm.

Unsurprisingly, other forms of transportation have also been affected. The GVB reports that pretty much all public transport in Amsterdam has been halted, and at 8.30am Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) cancelled all train traffic in the northern parts of the country. It is not yet clear when train traffic will resume.

Air traffic in the Netherlands has also been severely affected, with a spokesperson for Schiphol Airport reporting that over 700 flights have already been cancelled. The number is likely to rise over the course of Wednesday, with the airport reporting that there are “serious restrictions for airlines to land and depart between 09: 00 and 15: 00″.

Storm Poly wreaking havoc across the country

The heavy winds have already resulted in significant damage across much of the Netherlands. Several trees have been blown over in a number of cities, including Amsterdam, Haarlem and Enkhuizen, causing damage to cars and buildings. In the Dutch capital, a houseboat moored at the Jacob van Lennepkade has been blown loose. 

Thumb via Claire Leunissen.

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