December 3, 2023
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By JONATHAN POWELL

Floods that were described as being “exceptional”, caused severe disruptions to roads and forced the closure of schools in a number towns. The warnings remained in effect on Wednesday.

Heavy rains on Tuesday affected up to 60 towns, and triggered flood warnings at the Aa River and Liane river, which both burst last week because of Storm Ciaran.

Gerald Darmanin, the Interior Minister of the Republic of Congo (RDC), reported in a post on social media that seven people were injured and more than 1500 firefighters had been mobilized to the area.

Meteo France, the French national weather service, reduced the alert level in Pas-de-Calais, which is part of the Hauts-de-France, from red to orange on Tuesday night. Residents were however still advised to be cautious.

Boulogne-sur-Mer, Saint-Omer and other towns are located near the two rivers.

According to the French news site Connexion, a number other rivers within this department have either tier three orange warnings or tier two yellow alerts because of high water levels.

Regional authorities have reported that floods in the north have resulted in “significant” damage. They also noted that many schools were closed.

Agence France-Presse reported that the official river flooding monitor Vigicrues described yesterday’s floods in Assamese as “exceptional”. The floods were also above the historical levels from 2002, which was the old benchmark of river levels for the d├ępartement. It said that some rivers may be in a flood alert until Wednesday night at the earliest.

Watchdog website stated that the Liane could reach a water level of up to 560 cm above normal, almost a meter higher than its previous high record level of 481cm.

Vigicrues said that the flooding would likely spread down to Wizernes where there was a high probability of widespread, very destructive overflows.

Locals in Blendecques are assessing damage after last year’s flooding.

According to AFP, a local resident said that there is nothing they can do about the flooding.

Ludovic said, “Everything needs to be fixed again.” We can’t fight the tide.

Connexion cited Franck Dhersin as the vice-president for the Hauts de France region. He said that the officials are “very concerned” about the floods.

Dhersin said, “The soils can’t absorb any more water, as they are saturated.”

Maxime Delianne in Pas-de-Calais, the Pas-de-Calais Department, described Monday night’s situation as “catastrophic” before another heavy downpour hit the region overnight. He said that the Dordonne river which runs through the town “completely inundated the village”.

As a result of the storms of the past week, other departments of the West of France including Dordogne Charente and Gironde are still under tier three orange warnings for river flooding.

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