MAN THE DIKES!

HIGHEST FLOODS OF THE CENTURY IN EUROPE STRAIN THE DUTCH DEFENSES

FIFTY YEARS AFTER WORLD WAR II, SOMETHING LIKE BLITZKRIEG returned to Nijmegen last week. Dutch soldiers swarmed around the city while low-flying helicopters thundered overhead. Sirens pierced the air as police cars escorted emergency crews and equipment into town. The scenes reflected the kind of combat the Dutch know best: struggling with the elements. This time, in a country wrested largely from the sea, nature's attack arrived by way of the less fortified back door. At Nijmegen's Jan Massink sports center, a sports club where 350 evacuees had bedded down on the gymnasium floor, factory worker Jan Hooyman, 40, explained the...

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