Floods Expected in France and Italy

Accuweather are reporting what they describe as a “chain of storms” that are expected to hit parts of southern Europe, possibly from Friday 17 January.

The storms are most likely to affect southern France and northern Italy. The storms will bring heavy rainfall – between 25mm and 50mm – particularly for northern parts of Italy, including Turin, Milan, Verona and Genoa. Accuweather predict that this will be enough to cause some localized flooding.

However, this will only be the first instalment of several rounds of heavy rain over the coming weekend and early days of next week. Areas likely to see heavy rain include parts of the Marseilles, Nice and parts of the French Riviera, as well as parts of northern Italy, including the flood prone city of Venice. Some areas may see as much as 150mm over the coming days.

Italy suffered from widespread flooding during November and December last year, although this was mostly in southern areas, namely Calabria, Abruzzo and Marche, and Puglia. However, northern Italy is not immune to flooding. One of the worst floods in the country’s history was the Vajont River Dam flood in 1963. The Vajont River Dam is in a region of Italy just north of Venice overflowed due to a massive landslide toppling into its basin. The flood inundated the valley below and destroying a half-dozen villages. Almost 2500 people died and, in the case of 350 families, every member of a family was killed.

In France, it is the north that has been suffering from floods over the last few weeks, as a result of fall out from the storms and heavy rain that has been affecting many parts of the British Isles. Many parts of Brittany have been particularly badly affected. South West France saw some severe flooding during June 2013 when the city of Lourdes was so badly hit.

Source: Accuweather