Floods: six departments on orange alert for floods in the South-West, the Saintes remand center will be evacuated on Thursday

Several rivers placed on orange alert in New Aquitaine experienced “moderate to significant” flooding on Wednesday, December 13, according to the Vigicrues bulletin, with a peak expected on Thursday which forced the Charente-Maritime prefecture to announce the evacuation from Saintes prison, as in 2021

Floods: six departments on orange alert for floods in the South-West, the Saintes remand center will be evacuated on Thursday

Several rivers placed on orange alert in New Aquitaine experienced “moderate to significant” flooding on Wednesday, December 13, according to the Vigicrues bulletin, with a peak expected on Thursday which forced the Charente-Maritime prefecture to announce the evacuation from Saintes prison, as in 2021.

Deux-Sèvres, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Gironde, Dordogne and Corrèze, as well as a seventh department located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Isère, remained on orange alert for floods on Wednesday to 4 p.m., facing more bad weather wetting already waterlogged soil.

“The expected new precipitation could maintain or even locally revive certain floods, but the overall trend is towards the propagation of floods formed during the previous days. From Thursday, a calm is expected, the precipitation should be weaker and localized mainly on the reliefs,” said the information service.

In Coutras (Gironde), on the banks of the Dronne, plains, fields and roads were submerged and certain houses affected by rising waters, noted two journalists from Agence-France Presse.

Since the beginning of November, rainfall in La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime) has reached 318 millimeters, for an annual toll of 760 millimeters in 2022, a drier year, according to the prefecture. The latter says it is monitoring in particular "the rising water levels in the agglomeration of Saintes", 80 kilometers south-east of La Rochelle, to the point of carrying out a preventive evacuation of the city's prison.

“Due to the peak flood expected during the day on Thursday in the Charente basin, the 142 inmates of the Saintes remand center will be evacuated tomorrow to other penitentiary establishments,” wrote the prefecture in a communicated. The inmates of this prison built at the end of the 19th century and located in the city center, on the right bank of the Charente, had already been evacuated to other nearby establishments in February 2021, due to previous floods.