62 communes without safe tap water after flooding

The heavy rainfall and severe flooding in the Seine-Maritime region has left over 62 communes without safe tap drinking water.

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Flooding and rising river levels - including that of the River Loue, whose dangerous banks led to the Doubs and Jura being put on the highest level of Météo France weather alert yesterday (red) - have caused chaos in the area, with nine departments still on orange flooding alert.

Now, around 23,580 inhabitants are unable to drink their tap water, due to a microbial infection in the water due to complications caused by flooding, reports news source France Info.

Authorities in the area have begun to distribute safe drinking water in the affected areas, with the Seine-Maritime prefecture conjecturing that the microbial contamination may have been caused in part by soil erosion after heavy rainfall, causing significant quantities of clay and silt to have been dumped into the area’s groundwater reserves.

Affected residents have been warned not to drink the tap water until further notice, and to buy or collect bottled water from local stores or cooperatives.

A yellow flooding alert is still in place for those living near the banks of the River Seine, which at the time of writing had been measured as higher than the December 2010 high of 3.92m - but still (as yet) far from the absolute high of 6.10m seen in June 2016.

Residents are warned to be vigilant, says Météo France.

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