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Trial closure of storm barrier draws crowd

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ROTTERDAM About one thousand onlookers watched the Nieuwe Waterweg storm surge barrier close recently as part of the annual preparedness trials west of the inland port area of Rotterdam. An annual event, the authorities run the trial at the beginning of the storm season, which starts on October 1 and runs through April 15. The exercise stops all in and outbound traffic on the waterway for a 24-hour period. The Maeslandt barrier was completed in 1997 as part of the massive Delta Works project along the southwestern part of the Dutch coast. The barrier was used only once during a threatening storm, nearly three years ago.