Rains and Floods: 2 Departments in Red Alert, 26 in Orange Alert

General News
The Gironde and the Landes were placed in red alert Sunday by Meteo France because of heavy rains expected overnight as well as part of the day Monday.

Meteo France has placed the Gironde and the Landes in red alert because of the heavy rains that fell since Sunday 10th May. 26 other departments, from the southwest to the east, are in an orange alert.

The Gironde and the Landes were placed on red alert Sunday evening by Meteo France because of heavy rain expected overnight as well as part of the day Monday 11th May, 2020.

In the South-West, “it is the duration of the sustained rains as well as their fairly wide geographical domain which make this event an exceptional event. The quantities planned in 24/48 hours could be close to the centennial values ​​in places ”, according to Météo France.

In addition, with the addition of the Vendée in the evening on Sunday, 25 other departments are placed in orange vigilance for thunderstorms and rain, in the Southwest but also along a strip going from the Center region to the Vosges passing through Ile-de-France and Burgundy. One department, Tarn-et-Garonne is on the alert orange flooding, which brings to 26 in total the number of departments in orange.

“Sometimes exceptional cumulations”

After a stormy wave in the night from Saturday to Sunday with thunderstorms “punctually very active” (up to 70 mm recorded in Ile-de-France), thunderstorm activity resumed Sunday afternoon over the south of Aquitaine in particular.

By Monday noon, periods of heavy precipitation will be linked, “giving significant accumulations, even sometimes exceptional in the Southwest, where their repetition and duration are the dominant issue”, according to Météo France. Some gusts of wind and falling hail are also possible.

“On the west of Gascogne in Bordeaux, it is likely that we will locally reach 100 to 150 mm (or 1 to 2 months of precipitation) in less than 36 h , which corresponds to the return times of the order of 100 years, justifying the passage in vigilance of red level “, according to the organization.

In Gironde, placed in orange vigilance on Saturday for the expected exceptional precipitation, the firefighters had totalled at 9 pm Sunday 157 interventions since midday, according to the prefecture mainly for flooded premises, in 52 municipalities of the department. Five people had to be brought to safety due to rising sea levels.

Impassable roads

A dozen secondary roads were impassable and blocked in the South Gironde mainly, the Entre-Deux-Mers and the Libournais. Several others were partially flooded but not blocked, according to the department, of which around fifty agents were mobilized to secure the roads, evacuate branches on the road and set up diversions.

In neighbouring Landes, firefighters carried out around sixty operations on Sunday, mainly for cellars or flooded premises.

In these two departments, however, the peak of the rainy phenomenon was not expected before 22-23 hours.

In the Center-Loire Valley region and in Ile-de-France, strong thunderstorms were also expected in the evening, with very heterogeneous situations.

On the side of Burgundy and Franche-Comté, “the storms will give way to more lasting stormy rains which will gain in intensity next night and until the morning of Monday”. These heavy rains will not weaken until “early Monday afternoon before completely evacuating in the evening towards Switzerland”.

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