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Storm Henk brings new weather warnings for flood-hit northern France

The Local France
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Storm Henk brings new weather warnings for flood-hit northern France
Parts of Pas-de-Calais were flooded in November 2023. (Photo by Francois LO PRESTI / AFP)

Pas-de-Calais has been placed on red weather alert again as it braces for further flooding, while seven other French départements are on orange warnings.

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Heavy and sustained rainfall is piling further misery on flood-hit residents of the Pas-de-Calais département in northern France, again placed on red weather alert on Wednesday as more bad weather sweeps in.

A further seven départements are on heightened watch as heavy rain continues to fall in a band across northern France: The Aisne was added to the list, joining Finistère, Nord and Meurthe-et-Moselle, Ardennes, Meuse and Moselle on Météo France’s second-highest weather warning.

Pas-de-Calais bore the brunt of flooding in November 2023, as a series of storms brought months’ worth of rain in a few days.

The département was again placed on the highest possible alert for flooding on Tuesday afternoon, and remained on a red warning in forecaster Météo-France’s Wednesday morning bulletin, as the remnants of storm Henk – which battered Britain on Tuesday – brushes France. 

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The red alert is expected to remain in place into Thursday, with the River Aa the focus of authorities’ attention because of the “significant precipitation observed at the start of the week, as well as the saturation of the soil”, floods watchdog Vigicrues warned.

Several other water courses in the département, meanwhile, are on orange flood alert.

“A further increase in precipitation is expected this Wednesday in Pas-de-Calais,” Météo-France warned. “Showers will gradually become heavier and more frequent during the day.” 

The forecaster predicted between 20mm and 40mm of rainfall in 24 hours, rising to 50mm in certain areas. 

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“The disturbance associated with the Henk low-pressure system is now stretching from the south-west to the north-east of the country. A system of showers has set in over a large northern half of the country,” Météo-France said.

Henk caused travel disruption in the south of the UK on Tuesday, with winds of up to 150km/h forcing train operators to delay or cancel services in southern regions of England and Wales.

The storm – now officially a depression – will cause gusts of up to 100km/h in northern areas of France, according to Météo-France.

 

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