Pas-de-Calais flooded after a night of torrential rain

Flooded rivers, flooded streets, dilapidated houses: Pas-de-Calais woke up as best it could on Friday November 10 after a night of heavy rain, which followed a historic rise in water levels already causing significant damage Tuesday

Pas-de-Calais flooded after a night of torrential rain

Flooded rivers, flooded streets, dilapidated houses: Pas-de-Calais woke up as best it could on Friday November 10 after a night of heavy rain, which followed a historic rise in water levels already causing significant damage Tuesday. Météo-France had placed the department on red alert on Thursday for both floods and rain and floods, an episode which should only begin to fade around 4 p.m. on Friday. The North, Seine-Maritime and Somme are placed on orange vigilance.

The Pas-de-Calais prefecture anticipated “90 to 100 mm” of rain in the west of the department on Thursday evening, a level close, according to Météo-France, to the usual amount over a month. These severe bad weather, which could worsen on Friday morning, “follows already exceptional accumulations for several days”, “in a very worrying hydrological context”, underlines the forecaster.

“Remain vigilant for your loved ones and for yourselves”, wrote Thursday evening on X Emmanuel Macron to the inhabitants of Pas-de-Calais and to “compatriots who are undergoing the test of bad weather”. The prefecture counted around a hundred firefighter interventions and “133 evacuations of people” in the department on Thursday evening. The death toll remains at three minor injuries since Monday. No less than 130 municipalities have been affected in recent days by flooding in the department, already affected by storm Ciaran on November 2, then the record floods of the Liane, the Aa and the Canche on Tuesday.

“Several hundred claims” according to Axa

“Two large capacity pumps capable of absorbing 5,400 m³ per hour” have been deployed and “a third pump” of this type, as well as floating pumps, must be quickly put in place, the prefecture said. The Red Cross has opened twelve accommodation centers, the largest of which, based in Saint-Étienne-au-Mont, has 40 beds. Around 300 houses were damaged during the night from Monday to Tuesday in this town, where municipal employees helped residents to place their furniture up high on Thursday morning.

In the sectors of Montreuil-sur-Mer, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Saint-Omer, the population once again received the alert message advising to postpone travel, take refuge at height and cut off water, gas and electricity in case of flooding. In Blendecques, on the Aa, residents tried on Thursday to protect their homes with sandbags, in the hope of limiting the damage.

Schools in 200 municipalities will remain closed on Friday as the day before and train traffic remains interrupted on two sections (Boulogne-Etaples and Saint-Pol-Etaples) at least until Saturday “in order to guarantee the safety of travelers and staff” , indicated the SNCF on The state of natural disaster must be triggered on November 14 for the affected towns in Pas-de-Calais and the Nord. More than 50 municipalities have submitted a file, according to the prefecture.

Although they constitute natural phenomena, floods, cyclones and droughts can be amplified by global warming generated by human activities. Floods are particularly costly disasters: between 1970 and 2019, they accounted for 44% of all disasters and 31% of economic losses.