Flood alert as three weeks of rain expected in one day in east France

The orange warning comes just 24 hours after a heavy downpour. Météo-France says the situation is worrying

15 July 2021
A man with an umbrella and a map showing the departments in France under orange alert

10 departments in the Grand Est are set for heavy rainfall this Thursday (July 15, 2021) Pic: egd / Shutterstock and Vigilance Meteo France - https://vigilance.meteofrance.fr/fr

Ten departments in France’s Grand Est region have been placed on orange alert for heavy rain and possible flooding today (July 15), by French national weather service Météo-France. 

The departments are: Jura (39), Doubs (25), Haute-Saône (70), Haute-Marne (52), Vosges (88), Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Meuse (55), Marne (51), Aisne (02) and Ardennes (08). 

Orange alert means “be very vigilant”. There are possible dangers and you should remain up to date with the situation and follow the advice of local authorities, Météo-France states.

The total rainfall is expected to be significant, generally between 50 and 70mm in the departments under orange alert, which is the equivalent of between three weeks and one month of rain in normal times. 

“The worrying aspect is that it occurs 24 hours after an already significant rainy episode, on saturated soils, accentuating runoff phenomena,” the weather service states.

The heavy rains will continue during the morning in all departments under orange alert. There could be between five to 10mm of rainfall per hour. 

Alix Roumagnac, president of Predict Services, the "risk" branch of Météo-France, said the weather had not been normal in the region this year.

"It's been two and a half months that there have been thunderstorms or rains in succession over a large part of northern and eastern France, it's unusual," he told Franceinfo yesterday (July 14). 

The rains will gradually diminish later in the day today.  

For Haute-Marne and Haute-Saône, this will occur some time this afternoon, while in Doubs and Jura, the calm is not expected to return until Thursday night, Météo-France states. 

Road traffic conditions may be difficult on minor roads and there may be some disruption with trains not on the main lines. 

Power cuts may occur in the affected departments. 

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