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Roads and cellars flooded in storm

More than 1,300 call-outs for pompiers as streets turned into torrents by "wall of water"

Pompiers were manning the pumps all night in Nancy and surrounding districts after thunderstorms dumped 5cm of rain in one hour, flooding cellars and turning streets into torrents with two metres of water.

The violent storms across the east of France saw rescue crews attending more than 1,300 incidents. Meurthe-et-Moselle prefecture said no one was hurt but it was reported this morning that a pompier had been hurt in a crash between a rescue vehicle and a bus in Nancy.

In neighbouring Bas-Rhin more than 700 call-outs were reported due to the storms with the areas of Benfield and Barr being badly affected. A school in Heiligenstein, Barr, has had to stay closed this morning after its basement was flooded.

The storms left 5,000 homes in Meurthe-et-Moselle without electricity, half of them in Nancy itself. This morning around 2,000 were still without power.

More rain fell in one night than would be expected over five or six weeks with nearly 9cm over three hours - and nearly 2cm in just six minutes, according to website infoclimat.fr.

Cellars in the Commanderie district of Nancy were flooded with one metre of water within minutes and fifteen people had to be moved into temporary accommodation after a ceiling collapsed under the weight of water.

Streets were blocked with mud and debris washed down by the floods. The prefecture said that in Essey-lès-Nancy some streets had two metres of water running down them: "The current was too strong for pompiers to cross."

Essey-lès-Nancy mayor Jean-Paul Monin told BFMTV there had been a lot of "damage" done by the floods and residents were very upset. There was "mud and water still in some streets" and he said he had had to abandon his car as the water rose so suddenly. He said: "It was a curtain of rain and a wall of water."

The storm caused mudslides and floods in Bas-Rhin especially on the A35 Alsacienne autoroute that runs through the east, linking Germany and Switzerland.

Yesterday morning two passengers were injured when a train was derailed after a flood had washed away ballast, shifting the track. The TER came off the tracks on the Contrexéville-Nancy line, between Pont-Saint-Vincent and Vézelise, but stayed upright. The line will be closed for two or three days.

See the extent of the floods on the BFMTV website

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