Storm Bella: Floods cut power and roads in southwest France

The Landes department has been especially badly hit with high rainfall, flooding, power cuts, and roads and a bridge swept away

30 December 2020
By Hannah Thompson

Storm Bella has caused severe flooding in the Landes department in southwest France, with roads cut off and hundreds of homes still without power.

Nearby departments Gers, Tarn-et-Garonne and Lot-et-Garonne - as well as Landes itself - are still on Météo France orange alert for flooding.

More than 1,500 homes were still without electricity yesterday, with 58 roads closed due to flooding. This included the RD 110 in the village of Gouts, departmental services confirmed, after the high floodwaters carried away a bridge.

In the commune of Ondres, a car park was completely flooded.

And in the commune of Tartas, the water was expected to rise still further, and reach a peak of 3.40 metres “within two days”, deputy mayor Pascal Lafourcade told news service BFMTV.

He said: “This is the 11th episode of flooding in the Landes since the beginning of 2020. And it’s the fourth-most severe.”

The latest floods are due to the high rainfall in the area over the past few weeks, exacerbated by the arrival of Storm Bella.

In the commune of Capbreton, more than 429 millimetres were recorded since December 1 with the average for the month of December is just 144 millimetres. This means that almost four months’ worth of rain has fallen in just one month.

The Midouze river, which goes through the Landes department, could reach as high at five metres, said flood monitoring service Vigicrues.

You can check the current flood risk in your area on the Vigicrues website here.

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