As predicted by Accuweather and reported by FloodList here, parts of France and Italy saw heavy rain and flooding over the weekend.
In France, two people have died as a result of severe flooding in the south east of the country. One man was drowned after his basement flooded in La Londe, while the other victim was swept away in flood water in his vehicle in Pierrefeu. Another person, who is believed to have been sleeping in his boat in La Londe, is still missing.
Particularly badly hit was the department of Var in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in south eastern France, with the villages of Hyères, La Londe-les-Maures and Le Lavandou – which is about 40km from Toulon – were worst affected. Bormes-les Mimosas, Pierrefeu, Le Luc and Flassans have also been affected. Precautionary evacuations took place in Les Arcs, Frejus, Roquebrune, Puget-sur-Argens as levels of the Argens river rose rapidly. There are also concerns about the le vels of the river Gapeau.
Emergency services also had to airlift around 150 people to safety after their homes were flooded in La Londe and Lavandou. Around 7,000 homes, most of them in La Londe, were left without power and around 50 roads were blocked, some by landslides.
The floods occurred in France after heavy rainfall, which was particularly bad on Sunday 19 January 2014. With similarities to the situation in the south of England, the ground is so saturated in areas across south east France that any further rain could well result in more severe flooding.
Some areas of Var saw between 120 to160 mm of rain on Friday 17 January. Around 100mm of rain fell in Nice, south of France, between Thursday evening, 16 January, until Sunday evening. This amount is greater than the average total amount of rain seen in January in the area.
A state of natural disaster is expected to be declared by the government on Monday, a move which would release state funds for flood relief.
Northern Italy also saw huge amounts of rainfall over the weekend, causing some flooding. La Stampa reports that St Mark’s Square in Venice is udner 15cm of water.
The River Secchia has overflowed in areas just outside Modena, flooding some villages in the region. Around 100 people had to be evacuated from their homes in Bastiglia.
In Liguria, one man was injured and another missing after they were swept away in flood water. The body of the missing man has since been found. Emergency workers had been looking for a man who reportedly took a boat on a canal amid the heavy rain in order to help some people who had become stranded. The emergency services found the body of the man earlier today. He was a doctor who had been visiting a patient in the area.
The heavy rain has also caused landslides in Nervi and La Spezia in the area.
Tuscany also saw some severe weather, and Viareggio is said to be under 50cm of water. Some residents have been evacuated from their homes in Pietrasanta and Alta Versilia.