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Red flood warning lifted, but 18 departments stay on alert

About 150 people evacuated overnight as river threatened to burst its banks

2 February 2021
The Maronne at Argentat
By Connexion journalist

A red weather alert for flooding that prompted the overnight evacuation of about 150 people from a commune in southwest France was lifted early on Tuesday, February 2.

The households were evacuated from Argentat-sur-Dordogne, Corrèze, as a safety measure, as a flooded tributary of the Dordogne, the Maronne, threatened houses.

Many spent the night at a community centre, before being allowed back to their homes in the early hours as the water levels began to recede.

"This morning, the situation is stable," the prefect of Corrèze, Salima Saa, told FranceInfo.

But the department remains on orange alert for river floods. It is one of 18 departments in northern and southwestern France that remain on Météo France's second-highest weather warning.

The full list of departments on orange alert is: Pas-de-Calais, Nord, Aisne, Oise, Gironde, Charente-Maritime, Charente, Landes, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Gers, Aveyron, Tarn, Haute-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot, Cantal and the Corrèze.

The Corrèze has been on orange flood alert since Sunday. On Monday, a release valve on a dam had to be opened to relieve pressure.

"In recent days, the country has been affected by active weather systems," according to floods watchdog website Vigicrues. "Given the accumulation of precipitation over the country and saturated ground, many rivers are placed in yellow or orange vigilance."

Internet users across France took to social media to document the state of rivers near their homes.

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