Floods leave damage across southern France

Torrential downpours wreaked havoc in southern France over the weekend, destroying roads and washing away cars.

Floods leave damage across southern France
Residents begin the clean up after the weekend's floods in southern France. Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP
The violent thunderstorms in the Herault département of southern France hit on Saturday night, prompting the La Lergue river to break its banks.
Emergency services were called to 172 incidents over the night and day, as the storms left a trail of damage in its wake.

One couple in their eighties was rescued from their car after it washed away, reported Le Parisien
A section of the A75 motorway fell away, see below, leaving a gaping hole measuring 8 by ten metres. Traffic was closed in both directions. 

Local authorities estimated that the damage on the road alone could take weeks to fix.

Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard département, 208 millimetres of rain alone, with nearby Montelimar recording 154 millimetres.

The weather was back to normal by Sunday afternoon, with locals now facing the mammoth task of restoring order to their southern French towns.

(Photo: Google Maps)

All photos: Pascal Guyot/AFP

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South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.