French floods claim another victim

Much of the country suffered flash flooding this week, including Morlaix in Brittany

A woman has died after flash floods hit the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the local fire brigade has confirmed, but bad weather alerts have been lifted for all but one department across France.

The body of an 82-year-old woman was found in the River Lède, in Casseneuil, at around 1h00 this morning. Emergency services say the woman is thought to have fallen into the water, and later drowned.

It is the second fatality to be reported in the wake of strong storms, heavy rain and flash flooding across the country, after a 37-year-old man was found drowned in a body of water after crashing his car on a departmental road in Eure (Normandy) this week.

And, although more rain is expected this afternoon (Wednesday June 6), Météo France has now lifted its previous “orange alert” for storms across Charente, Charente-Maritime, Vienne and Deux-Sèvres, leaving just one alert for “rain and flooding” and “floods” in the Eure.

Only one department, Eure, is now on orange alert (Météo France / vigilance.meteofrance.fr / Screenshot)

The forecaster said that the orange alerts had been dropped, as “the highest rainwater is now flowing into the ocean”, [despite] predictions for “more rain during the early afternoon”.

The heavy rainfall has caused chaos across the country, particularly in Brittany, Grand Est, and Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Glenay (Deux-Sèvres) recorded 83mm of rainfall, while Langres (Haute-Marne, Grand Est) recorded 67mm - of which 59mm fell in just one hour - and Montmorillon (Vienne) recorded 50mm.

This represents almost one month’s worth of average rainfall in just a few hours.

The accompanying storms were equally violent: French tornado and storm observatory Keraunos recorded 15,200 lightning bolts overnight across the country - between the hours of midnight and 6am - from Tuesday 5 June to Wednesday 6.

The Doubs department was most affected, with 3,007 strikes; followed by Seine-et-Marne, which suffered 2,527; and Nièvre, with 1,924.

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