Recovery of the area afflicted
Meanwhile, volunteers and dike workers worked to close the gaps in the dikes. Within a week, 30,000 volunteers had registered to help repair the dikes. The Ministry of Waterways and Public Works led the restoration works, which was financed by the government.
The conflicting opinions of the organisations meant a difficult start. The Dike Restoration Department, for instance, preferred to use caissons to close the gaps in the dikes. Caissons are large concrete blocks, which can stop the flow of water very quickly. Other parties preferred to close the dikes by means of clay and stone. Eventually, it was chosen to build so-called unit caissons: blocks that could be used in many different variations.
Difficult current gaps
The current gap near Bath was closed on the 23rd of April 1953 by means of a vessel, after a method with raising the sand failed because of the strong water currents. Near Kruiningen, three gaps had to be closed: the western gap, the eastern gap, and the gap in the port. After the closure of the inner dikes, the western gap could be closed by means of clay, plunging stone and six uniform caissons. The eastern gap was a more difficult job and was unable to be closed at its original position. Instead, a ring dike had to be built on the land, in which forty caisson elements were used. Consequently, a pontoon with uniform caissons of 33 metres long was used, and the gap was finally closed on the 8th of July 1953. On the 24th of July, the last gap, the gap in the port, was closed and the railway traffic could continue once again.
The closing of the gaps near Ouwerkerk was another difficult job. A summer storm hampered the progress, and for a moment, Ouwerkerk seemed to be lost in the sea. The rates of water flow were high near Ouwerkerk, and it was not possible to fix the heavy caissons in the right position. It can be seen that the caissons were not placed correctly next to each other, nevertheless on the 24th of November the dike was completed.
Basis for the Delta law
The Delta committee extended the plans for large restoration works. On March the 16th, 1953, the committee gave extensive advice, which would be the basis of the Delta law of May the 8th, 1958.