Today, 27th April, the Dutch completed their first great victory over the sea under their ???250,000,000 Delta Plan when they closed the hatches in the caissons of the great new sea-wall or dyke, which they have almost finished building across the Veere estuary in Zealand in south-west Holland and finally shut out the North Sea from this wide inlet between the islands of Walcheren and North and South Beveland.
Comprehensive shot of the seven caissons in the Veer estuary dyke with the tide running out to sea through them.
Comprehensive pan from the top of the caissons to the outgoing tide.
Shot made inside caisson showing tide pouring through the steel mesh.
Boat from which strength and speed of tidal streams was being measured.
Another shot of water pouring through a caisson.
Man turning winch to lower and close caisson hatch door, with shot of door closing.
Cameraman filming the operation.
Woman spectator weeping with emotion on historic occasion.
Hatch doors closing.
Another woman - wearing Zealand variety of Dutch national costume -- weeping as she watches.
Sand being pumped by dredger against closed caissons.
Man putting up notice board with names of villages on either side of dyke, showing that connection between Walcheren and North Beveland islands is now made.
Man in Zeeland variety of national costume standing by the notice board.
Comprehensive shot of tops of caissons with spectators walking across them.
Barge unloading stones against closed caisson doors.
Another shot of sand being pumped against closed caissons.
Comprehensive shot of closed caissons with celebration flags flying.
Please see also Visnews film production no. 2884/61 for air shots of dyke.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Today, 27th April, the Dutch completed their first great victory over the sea under their ???250,000,000 Delta Plan when they closed the hatches in the caissons of the great new sea-wall or dyke, which they have almost finished building across the Veere estuary in Zealand in south-west Holland and finally shut out the North Sea from this wide inlet between the islands of Walcheren and North and South Beveland.
It was on these islands that many of the more than 1400 people who were drowned in the great sea floods of February 1953 lost their lives, when the combination of a severe storm and an exceptionally high spring tide sent the sea waters rushing over farms, villages and towns.
Under the plan four deep and wide estuaries (mouths of the great rivers Maas, Waal and Lek) through which the sea flowed on to the land in 1953 are to be closed off from the sea, the last of them in 1978. The Veere estuary is the first of them to be closed and the dyke that does this is nearly two miles (about three kilometres) long and stands about 38 feet (about 12 metres) deep in the water at the deepest parts.
The last of the seven, 4,000 ton concrete caissons forming the central part of the dyke was placed in position three days ago, on Monday, 24th April, in the presence of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and many thousands of people. Large hatches were then left open in the caissons, through which the tide was still free to ebb and flow until today. But at low tide this morning all the hatches were closed and the dyke was thus made watertight. Great quantities of stone are being emptied from barges into the water against the landward side of the caissons and sand from powerful dredgers is being pumped over the stones: within a short time the stones and sand will fall and run into the caissons themselves and they will be wholly covered as the wide, high dyke (the highest in Holland) runs, with its modern motor road, from shore to shore.