Floods in Brittany, France

Storm Qumaira has brought floods once more to the Finistère area of Brittany. Qumaira had already swept across Portugal and parts of northern Spain, and as of yesterday all regional departments in western and central France were placed on Orange alert. Today, Finistère is on red alert due to the threat of flooding. Orange flood warnings are in place for Morbihan, Ille-et-Vilaine and Pas de Calais.

flood defences brittany france
Flood defences in Pontivy, 6 February 2014. Photo: france3Bretagne

Heavy rain, storm surges, waves up to 12 metres high and winds of up to 100 km/h have made all coastal areas vulnerable. But the heavy rain has also increased levels to rivers in Brittany to dangerous heights, in particular the river Laïta and the river Morlaix.

By yesterday afternoon the Morlaix river had broken its banks and the town of Morlaix was under water and the town centre closed. A school of around 40 children was evacuated. The towns of Quimperlé, Landerneau and Daoulas were also badly affected.

Car submerged in the floods in Daoulas, France
Car submerged in the floods in Daoulas, France. Photo: twitter.com/kristentwitte

Flood water was reported as being as high as 1 metre in Quimperlé after the river Laïta overflowed.

Overnight the town of Quimper was under water after the river Steïr overflowed. Some local media reports say the town is now under 60cm to 100cm of water and homes have been evacuated. Around 60 houses have been completely flooded and local schools have been closed.

 

The storm has also left around 55,000 homes without power in western and central areas of France.

The storm has brought large amounts of rainfall to other areas of France. Some of the low-lying areas of the wine making region of Bordeaux, for example, have been flooded. Langoiran, near the Garonne river to the south of the city of Bordeaux, was one of the worst affected areas.

As the storm moves eastwards, other areas of France, including Normandy and Picardy, can expect some heavy rainfall.

Rainfall, 7 F2014, France. Image from Meteo Paris.
Rainfall, 7 february 2014, France. Image from Meteo Paris.

Sources: France3; Meteo Paris