Paris hit by flash flooding in shock hailstorm

The streets and Métro stations in Paris have been flooded after unseasonal storms brought heavy rainfall and strong hail to the capital - while strong hail further south in Vaucluse has destroyed crops.

23 May 2018
Drivers struggle on the Paris roads after rainfall caused flash floods
By Connexion journalist

The capital’s streets looked more like rivers - and stairwells more like waterfalls - yesterday afternoon, with areas in the north and the west said to be most affected.

While temperatures remained at seasonal norms - at around 22°C for most of the day - hail battered the streets and settled, looking at times snow-like in consistency.

Some Métro users were forced to take their shoes off and walk into ankle-deep water in some stations, while other stations were closed completely due to the rising waterline.

More storms and rainfall are expected to last until Friday, with good weather and sunshine set to return by Saturday (May 26).

Paris is not the only place to have suffered bad weather this week; further south in Bonnieux (Vaucluse, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), just 15 minutes of heavy hail and rain managed to ruin almost a year’s worth of Luberon cherry tree crops.

According to reports, the area produces an average of 11,000 tonnes per year, but after the stormy episode, only an estimated 300 tonnes remained.

Some areas reported as many as two centimetres-worth of hail, plus 60 millimetres of rainfall, in just half an hour.

Crops were seriously damaged, and farmers now say their future looks uncertain.

It is not the first time that unexpected weather has caused issues for the cherry crop; last year, frost followed by drought devastated the region.

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