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Even as flood waters began to subside this afternoon in the Netherlands after a week of storms across northern Europe, Dutch army troops were frantically trying to reinforce below-sea-level dikes in the southeastern part of the country.The danger: more than 300 miles of ancient, water-soaked dikes have been severely weakened by flooded rivers. As the waters recede, sections of the dikes may begin to shift -- even burst. More than a quarter-million Dutch have already fled, fearing the worst flood disaster since 1953, when 1,800 people died. "There's still a massive evacuation underway, and large chunks of Holland are completely deserted," says TIME Amsterdam reporter James Geary.