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250mm of rain falls in 24 hours

Orange storm and flood alerts issued with yellow rain warnings covering nearly all of France

METEO France has issued weather warnings across nearly the whole of France with severe rainstorms expected to last until Saturday.

The Ardèche, Gard, Hérault and Lozère have been put on orange alert for torrential rains and flooding with 8-20mm of rain expected to fall each hour. Already total rainfall in the Cévennes has hit 190mm in Villefort (48) with Météo France recording a peak of 250mm over the past 24 hours.

Storms from the major depression over France are being accompanied by winds gusting up to 80kph on the coast and up to 100kph in the Cévennes gorges. Météo France warned that reduced air pressure in the depression would see higher than normal sea levels, with possible effects on coastal areas.

The storms are expected to continue across the Cévennes tomorrow and spread to the Rhône valley and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Forecasters say that as much as 400mm of rain could fall in the next 48 hours.

Only the eastern departments are, so far, unaffected by the rainstorms.

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