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Snow in Limburg & How to Handle It

snowy-streets-maastricht

Snowy street in Maastricht

This article was originally published on Maastricht Region To Live.

With the heavy storm warnings of last week and the steady snowfall in Limburg, this winter is shaping up to be colder and snowier than it has been in several years. There is even talk of the canals in the North being open for the Elfstedentocht; something that hasn’t happened since 1997. Here in Maastricht the accumulation is still light by my Vermonter standards, but from what I’ve been told it may as well be a blizzard.

So how are we handling the snow? Not bad. Streets and bike paths are clear, but at least in my area of Maastricht few sidewalks have been shoveled. Biking in the slush for the first time was scary and train traffic remains a bit snarled. But the city in snow? Very lovely. Fortunately Maastricht has offered some local guidelines on the Gemeente’s website for how to handle the wintery weather:

  • The city will clear roads (and bike paths), but major roads will take priority over smaller ones. If you live on a side street you may need to do some clearing of snow yourself, or hire help, since these streets will be cleared last by the city.
  • Be careful when driving, biking, and walking because it is very slippery. Take it slow and you are encouraged to use the public transportation.
  • Do NOT use water on your front steps. It is dangerous and you could be fined. (For the International readers, it is common practice to wash your front steps as part of a regular cleaning routine. I don’t do it because I’m on the 2nd floor.)
  • You should keep the sidewalks in front of your house/apartment building clear of snow. (This seems to be a lost art in my area.)
  • The city does not provide road salt, but you can purchase some at the grocery store.

Other Gemeente websites I checked did not readily have this information available, but the advice is sound and I would assume that following these rules would keep you in good stead. Newspapers can also keep you informed. Eindhoven has contracted with the local Vrijwillige Hulpdienst (Volunteer Emergency Assistance) to offer assistance to people who can’t easily get out of their homes. If you are in Eindhoven and need assistance or want to help, you can call 2447669 or email info@vhd-eindhoven.nl.

You can read the original statement about snow from the Maastricht Gemeente here (Dutch only). And if you can’t escape from your home, stay in, have some warm Chocomel and watch this video of Winter in Maastricht by Marcel Brouwers.

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