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home exhibitionsreconstructionthe delta worksemergency repairs and permanent repairs

Emergency repairs and permanent repairs

Emergency repairs
The emergency repairs had to take place as quickly as possible in an attempt to prevent further damage. Limited means meant a greater reliance on creativity and improvisation.

However, closing up large breaches required serious preparation. Closing these breaches was a difficult job which attracted widespread publicity, for instance when the breached dikes at Ouwerkerk, Schelphoek and Kruiningen were closed up. Often emergency flood defences had to be built in the hinterland and to close up the breaches caissons were made "to measure" in addition to the large World War II caissons employed.

Permanent repairs
After the emergency repairs, the sea dikes were finished in the traditional manner. The original premise was to restore the dikes to their pre-flood strength, but many new dikes were built to be significantly stronger. On the northern side of Schouwen-Duiveland the best solution turned out to be to dam the Dijkwater, shortening the coastline in the process. In some cases the coastline was shortened by damming ports (as in the case of Cadzand). At Flaauwe Werk on the northern shore of Goeree the line of dunes had become so weakened that it was decided to construct a 2 km long dike of asphalt. Later on, dikes would also replace dunes at Zoutelande, Nieuwvliet and Groede.

Not only were the sea dikes reinforced. The Flood had caused flooded polders of Schouwen and Duiveland had come into contact. To prevent this situation in future, the Schouwsedijk between Zierikzee and Brouwershaven was reinforced. Later, an additional 7,5 km long inner dike would be constructed across the island of Schouwen, the so-called Delingsdijk ("Partition dike"), to prevent the entire island from being flooded when one of the coastal dikes was breached.