Eleanor Storm: 25 Departments on Orange Alert for Floods, Missing Firefighter

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Eleanor storm, 25 departments remain on Orange alert

After the passage of the Eleanor storm, which leaves behind three dead and one missing firefighter, 25 departments remain on orange alert for flooding on Friday 5th January.

The Eleanor storm left three dead and one missing in France since Wednesday. She leaves behind flooded villages, the skiers stranded with the risk of avalanches and exceptional fires in Corsica, which are now under control.

Friday 5th January, 25 departments were placed on Orange alert with a flood warning by Meteo France. In the East, some areas are also affected by a warning for rain and avalanches. The alert for high Winds has in turn lifted.

Three dead and one firefighter carried away by a torrent

After a first death Wednesday that of a 21 year old skier killed by a falling tree on a track of Morillon (Haute-Savoie), the human toll rose Thursday.

In Isère, Crêts en Belledone a ninety year old died of a heart attack in her house flooded by a mudslide and water. In Savoy, a farmer was found dead in a snow slide near his Alpine chalet in Bonneval-sur-Arc.

A volunteer firefighter is also missing : he was saving a refugee family on the roof of his car on Thursday at midday, when he was swept away by a raging torrent, at  reda, between Isère and Savoie.

“Over 80 people are looking for him,” with “substantial resources, helicopters, dog teams, divers, but all in extremely difficult conditions,” said the prefect of Savoy, Louis Laugier.

“Research must continue into the night,” said Thursday AFP another source prefectural.

An elderly woman died of a heart attack at his home in Morêtel-de-Mailles near Crêts en Belledonne in Isère, January 4, 2018
An elderly woman died of a heart attack at his home in Morêtel-de-Mailles near Crêts en Belledonne in Isère, January 4, 2018 (© AFP / PHILIPPE DESMAZES)

mudflow of 50 m3

On Thursday, firefighters were still conducted several hundred interventions in Savoie, Haute Savoie and Isère and many local roads remain cut.

In Grenoble, the occupants of an apartment on the third floor of a building glued to the cliff along the Isere quays, saw a 50 m3 mudslide happen through windows. But more fear than harm: no injuries.

Rain and sleet are overflowing with many rivers.

The Seine at Rouen overflows

The Seine at Rouen overflowed and rivers are placed in amber alert to the risk of flooding, as in Gironde, in the far east, in Franche-Comté and Limousin.

In the northern Alps, the avalanche risk, linked to snowfall followed by equally heavy rain has increased the coat, was Thursday maximum safe places, while ski resorts are crowded due to school holidays .

Some flows have covered the roads, but the risk of spontaneous departures should “significantly reduce” Friday by Meteo France.

Many areas remained closed Thursday or partially opened. The prefect of Isere has asked travelers not to anticipate their return because the axes are still being cleared.

In Haute-Savoie, a hundred people from the hamlet of Etelley, near Morillon, were evacuated as a precaution.

“Outstanding Intensity”

Furthermore, no home left without electricity in France, according to a report of Enedis at 7:30 p.m.. In Corsica, less than 2,000 homes were without power against 15,000 a few hours earlier, according to EDF.

The island was also hit by fire “of exceptional intensity in the winter,” according to the prefecture, due to strong winds and dry soil cocktail.

By late afternoon, they were under control, although still active in Corsica, in Sant’Andrea di Cotone (1,000 hectares) and Chiatra (650 ha). Over 300 personnel are always engaged in the field, supported by 3 Canadair.

A Chiatra, a source close to the investigation, a witness saw a post falling under the wind, causing an electrical arc that would have set fire to the bush. For the fire of San Andria di Cotone, however, the criminal is not excluded.

In addition, the always difficult weather caused delays or cancellations, by boat from Bastia.

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