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150 hectares demolished, total damage 70 million euros:

NL: Not enough construction crews available to repair damaged greenhouses

The horrific weather scenario that knocked down parts of the Dutch greenhouse industry in southern Holland last week, has resulted in a total damage of more than 70 million euros for greenhouse growers. Greenhouse repair crews are drowning in work and currently there are not enough workers available to repair everything on a short term.

Last Friday, a supercell storm destroyed many of the greenhouses in the southern and eastern parts of the province of Noord-Brabant. Within 30 minutes, gigantic hail stones came crashing down and destroyed many greenhouse operations. A total of 150 hectares of greenhouses was so heavily damaged that the crops were completely destroyed, forcing the growers to stop the season in the middle of the summer, remove the old crops and lay down the work. Some growers hope to be in time with cleaning and repairing their operations before the start of the season, but many think that they will not be able to manage this.

Besides the 150 destroyed hectares, another 50 hectares were damaged too. Repair crews and insurance companies are very busy analyzing the damage and starting the repairs. While the Dutch government did not declare the state of emergency at the impacted area, insurance companies like Interpolis and Hortisecur are busy making analyses and helping their customers by paying a first deposit to pay the first damage repairs. The Rabobank also announced emergency measures like deferred repayments, delaying mitigation of seasonal credits or a bridging loan.

The damage is expected to increase as the now unprotected electronics like climate control panels, irrigation units and drive motors will be unusable too as a result of the heavy rainfall last week.

Trucks with glass on their way to Someren

At this time there is a huge demand for greenhouse builders and glazing crews. "Many Dutch greenhouse builders already had a full agenda as they are busy with new greenhouse projects in Holland, or they have all their crews scheduled on projects abroad", said Wim Snoeker of insurance company Interpolis. "This does not benefit the speed of recovery. This is also underlined by Claudia van der Ende of greenhouse repair company "Our phone is ringing non stop, everybody is asking us for repair crews. Nobody can keep up with the demand at the moment!"

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