In 1953, a major disaster occured in Holland. A high tide combined with a heavy North
Sea storm destroyed dikes and other water defenses flooding lands in the provinces
Zeeland, Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant and some parts of Belgium, Germany,
Denmark and France. In Holland, more than 1,800 people lost their lives and thousands
of farm animals perished.
The damage to the dikes was enormous; more than 800 kilometers of dikes were
damaged. Thousands of farm houses were destroyed. Farm lands were useless because
of the salt.
To prevent these kind of calamaties ever to happen again, the Dutch government had to come up
with a plan. And they did; The 'Delta Works'.
The construction of the most prestigious waterworks ever to be built in Holland started just one
year after the flood, in 1954. But not only sea barriers were built. Further inland, bridges and dams
were also part of the project. The massive effort officially came to an end in 1997.
The Delta Works are basically a series of water defenses consisting of 6 dams, 4 flood barriers or
sea surge barriers and 3 sluices.
Flooded streets in the town of Terneuzen, Zeeland
WWW.LOVELYHOLLAND.NL 2012 - 2017
The ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) recognized the Delta Works, along with six other
great engineering works, as one of the 'Wonders of the Modern World'.