As Verviers residents wearily clean the stinking mud out of their ruined homes, thoughts are turning to the fragility of the infrastructure that supports life here; how quickly all the fabric of our modern world was ripped apart.
There is still no power, no cabled internet, patchy mobile phone signal, and in some areas, no fresh water.
Many of the roads and bridges are shut, and the pavements are piled high with rubbish.
Nameer Laghzaoui takes us into his ruined pizza shop. Piles of gluey flour line the floor. He shows us the basement – all his wiring and fuse boxes sit, dripping.
He said: “It is all gone. Ruined.”
I ask if he wants to go, move further away from the water.
“No, I will stay, I have to.”
His whole life savings are in this business, and he has no choice but to wait for insurance to pay out and hope it doesn’t happen again.
A few metres away we find Louis Pirout working hard to find out just how badly the town’s power supply and wiring has been damaged.
His job is to restore TV services
Was the town ready, I asked?
“No. Absolutely not.
“We are a crowded town around the river which is why it was so bad.”
He doesn’t know how long it will take to get everything back on line.
There are huge holes in the pavements everywhere, exposing mangled pipes and cabling. It doesn’t look like a quick job.
Up and down the streets there are people delivering bottles of fresh water.
One of the reasons for that is businesses nearby aren’t open to sell anything.
We ventured into an all but destroyed supermarket to find the owner, Francoise Wilmain, surveying the damage.
He cannot see how he will be able to reopen.
“It was my business, my life, it is finished.”
On one street closest to the river Meuse a huge clean up is underway. Mountains of furniture, pots, books pile high under the hot sun as people salvage what they can.
Valerie Corman told us how she thought the city didn’t give them enough warning.
She said: “The city is going to have to change.”
She also said that she hopes during the rebuilding process, they find a way to create better flood defences, so if it happens again, the damage won’t be so great.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.