France – Record Rain Causes Floods and Landslides in Paris and North

A slow-moving storm system brought record heavy rain to parts of northern France between 11 and 12 June 2018, triggering floods and a landslip that caused a train to derail near Paris.

A suburban train overturned between Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuse and Courcelle-sur-Yvette southwest of  Paris early on Tuesday, 12 June, after rain caused an embankment to collapse. Seven people were injured.

The heavy rain also caused flooding in other parts of the city, in particular the southern suburbs of Palaiseau and Antony, where images on Social Media showed streets under flood water 1 metre deep.

East of Paris, emergency services attended to almost 700 calls for assistance in Seine-et-Marne department, according to Le Parisian. Around 100 houses were flooded in Chambry. Other areas affected include Chessy, Claye-Souilly, Pomponne, Crécy la Chapelle, Rebais, La-Ferté Gaucher and Bellot.

AFP reported flooding in across parts of northern France, including Les Mureaux, a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France region, where around 50 people evacuated their homes.

In Normandy, the town of Vimoutiers in Orne department saw flood water up to metre deep, prompting local officials to evacuate a residence for the elderly. Other evacuations took place at La Mele-sur-Sarthe and Le Theil, also in Orne department.

Record Breaking Rain

Meteo France said that Paris recorded 78 mm of rain in 24 hours, a record for a June day beating the previous high of 58 mm set in June 1960.

Orly recorded 75mm in 24 hours, its highest ever ever daily rainfall total. Torcy, to the east of the city, recorded 108 mm in 24 hours to 12 June, its highest ever amount for one day.

As well as Île-de-France and the Paris region, the heavy rain also affected Pays de Loire, Normandy, Brittany, Centre-Val de Loire and Grand Est.

Other highest ever daily rainfall totals were also recorded in Achères in the Yvelines department (79 mm), and Douzy in Ardennes department (54 mm).

Nantes in Brittany recorded 71 mm, beating the previous high for a June day (41 mm) set on 05 June this year.

Image: Meteo France

Rivers

Vigicrues, the flood information service provided by France’s environment ministry, reports that rivers are at orange alert level (level 3 of 4) in over 20 locations in the north and south west of the country.

River flood warnings in France as of 12 June 2018. Image: Vigicrues

Weeks of Storms “Coming to an End”

France has been battered by heavy rain and strong winds for several weeks, in particular from 04 June in Brittany and Normandy. Over the next days flooding also affected areas of southwestern France. The deaths of at least 3 people have been blamed on the flooding.

Meteo France said on 12 June, however, that there is finally an end in sight.

“The exceptional sequence of storms that France has been experiencing for several weeks is gradually coming to an end. The last 24 hours have, however, been the culmination of a very rainy situation in the northern regions of the Loire between the Pays de la Loire, the Paris region and Champagne-Ardenne. A slow improvement is taking shape with less stormy weather by the end of the week.”

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