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Relief as flood casualties avoided

Minister praises Languedoc-Roussillon residents for respecting safety warnings after red storm alert

AS CLEAN-UP operations continued in Languedoc-Roussillon after this week’s floods pompiers in Hérault reported receiving 10,000 calls for help but were relieved no one had been killed and no one injured.

But the region was still counting the cost of rains that pummelled the departments causing millions of euros of damage in houses and commercial premises and leaving farmers in despair at lost crops.

Street workers were out in bright sunshine today in heavily-hit Montpellier hosing mud off the streets after the river Lez, which runs through the centre of the city, had burst its banks. Météo-France said the city had received six months’ rain in one day.

Around 200 farmers and wine-growers in Hérault say they suffered heavy damage to crops – with vineyards hit in the middle of the récolte harvest – and called on “national solidarity” to help them.

At Saint-Pargoire, where floods had roared down streets – powered by a claimed 50cm of rain in three hours – they quickly overwhelmed cellars in one part of the town but the large part of the town was spared, with few habitable areas affected.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve visited some of the flood-damaged areas yesterday and praised the actions of the 1,500 emergency workers who had been called out – and the local people who had “respected safety warnings” and had helped avoid fatalities.

He said the natural disaster catastrophe naturelle order for around 60 communes would be agreed by ministers on October 8, which would allow affected householders to speed their insurance claims. Get more information on catastrophe naturelle in a previous Connexion article here...

Ligue 1 football club Montpellier faces a huge bill after its La Mosson stadium was filled with floodwater, damaging the pitch, gym, changing rooms and offices. The club’s next game is away at Nice on October 4 but president Laurent Nicollin said that having a football stadium on a floodplain was not a good idea and he wanted to move.

In the Var, which was put on orange alert yesterday afternoon, the storms passed without incident despite 7cm of rain at Cuers and 6cm at Bormes-les-Mimosas.

Photo: MHSC on Twitter

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