Further flood warnings in place for south west

Five departments in the south west of France remained on flood alert on Friday after heavy rain hit the region over night. The department of Tarn was added to the list of four other departments which have been on 'Orange alert' since Thursday.

Further flood warnings in place for south west
This screen shot from TV station LCI shows the areas of France under flood alert.

Météo France added the department of Tarn to the list of four other departments that are on Orange alert due to a high risk of flooding in the region on Friday.

On Thursday morning the country’s weather service Météo France put the departments of l’Ariège, Pyrénées –Atlantique, Haute Garonne and Hautes Pyrénées on "Orange alert"– the second highest level of weather warning.

The alerts are set to came into place officially at midday on Thursday and will remain until at least 1pm on Friday.

“The total amount of rainfall predicted over the next 24 hours is high in the Pyrénées departments and this comes after heavy rainfall earlier this month,” Météo France said.

“There will be showers on Thursday morning, which will see up to 30mm fall in some places and this afternoon the rainfall will grow heavier across the whole region.”

Météo France predicted there would be significant rainfall overnight from Haute-Bigorre  to Piémont Ariégeois, where up to 100mm could fall in some parts over the next 24 hours.

The bad weather continues to provide mixed fortunes in France. As most people curse the rain and the cold temperatures, bosses at one ski station in the Pyrénées were delighted to announced on Wednesday they would be re-opening their doors to take advantage of all the snow that remained on the slopes.

Around 20cm of snow fell in the last two days in areas of the Pyrénées above 2000m.

Forecasters have dismissed predictions earlier this week that France was set for the coldest summer in 200 years, telling The Local, there was still hope the sun could come out in July and August.

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Partner finds body of missing British hiker close to border between France and Spain

The partner of a British hiker who went missing in the French Pyrenees last November has found her body, her family said on Tuesday, adding that an accident was "the most likely hypothesis".

Partner finds body of missing British hiker close to border between France and Spain
Illustration photo: Raymond Roig/AFP

Esther Dingley, 37, had been walking on her own in the mountain range, which straddles the border between France and Spain, but had not been heard from since sending a WhatsApp message on November 22nd.

Her partner Daniel Colegate, who raised the alarm over her whereabouts, found her body on Monday following a “relentless search”, according to a family statement released by charity LBT Global.

Colegate found Dingley’s body and equipment close to where a bone was found by a mountain runner two weeks ago.

A DNA test on the bone confirmed last month that it belonged to the hiker.

“At this stage an accident is the most likely hypothesis, given the location and other early indications,” the statement said.

“A full investigation is under way to confirm the details.”

Her family said they “remain incredibly grateful for the efforts of the police units involved and their commitment to understanding the exact circumstances of Esther’s death”.

Dingley had planned to make a loop around the Salvaguardia peak, which stands at 2,738 metres above sea level, between Spain and where her vehicle was parked, according to investigators.

The BBC reported she and Colegate, who were partners for 20 years, had travelled around Europe in a camper van after leaving northeast England in 2014.

Colegate was house-sitting at a Gascony vineyard while his girlfriend took their motor home on the journey to Spain.