Six departments placed on flood alert; the return of worrying rain in Pas-de-Calais

The President of the Republic will himself see the damage

Six departments placed on flood alert; the return of worrying rain in Pas-de-Calais

The President of the Republic will himself see the damage. On Tuesday, November 14, Emmanuel Macron went to Pas-de-Calais, which has been affected for several days by devastating floods, and still on alert due to a rainy episode which, after a few days of calm, could worsen the situation.

Accompanied by his wife, Brigitte Macron, “the Head of State will express his support and that of the entire Nation to the inhabitants affected by the successive episodes of flooding as well as to all the mobilized relief forces,” declared the Elysée in a press release. Expected at 11:30 a.m., Mr. Macron will also be accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, and the Minister for SMEs, Olivia Grégoire.

Matignon at the same time announced the convening of an interministerial crisis unit "to coordinate all state services", which was to meet Monday evening under the leadership of Elisabeth Borne's chief of staff, the Prime Minister being in travel to Ireland.

In addition to Pas-de-Calais, the neighboring department of the North is on orange flood alert, as well as four other departments in the rest of the territory: Charente-Maritime, Doubs, Jura and Vendée. Haute-Savoie and Savoie have, for their part, been placed on orange rain-flood vigilance.

Nearly 400 nurseries and schools closed

Pas-de-Calais, which has already suffered storm Ciaran on November 2, record floods on November 7 and intense precipitation on Thursday and Friday, will also remain on yellow alert on Tuesday for wind, rain-flooding and waves-submersion. The seven rivers of the department monitored by Vigicrues are on orange flood alert, the Liane, the Lys upstream and the Lawe-Clarence having joined, in the 10 p.m. bulletin on Monday, the Canche, the Lys plaine, the Hem and the Aa. With the exception of the Canche, all these rivers started to rise again Monday evening, according to Vigicrues.

Rainfall, on already saturated soils, remained light on Monday, but was expected to be “heavier” on Tuesday, according to the weather forecasting agency. In this context, the prefecture decided, as on Monday, to leave nurseries and educational establishments closed on Tuesday in 279 municipalities in the department, or 388 establishments in total. “They will not provide teaching,” said the prefecture, “but students can be welcomed there whenever necessary.”

The floods of recent days have also caused significant damage in the neighboring Nord department, particularly on the Lys plain. “How are they going to get rid of all this? », asked Annie Bacrot, who lives along this river in Merville, on Monday afternoon, and whose garden is entirely underwater. “It’s stressful, we’re afraid of having to leave, we’ve never experienced that,” she sighed.

“The water has been rising since Friday, it’s not going down, we’re waiting, we can’t do anything,” lamented her husband, Alain Bacrot, who wore large boots to leave his house.

More than ten thousand victims recorded

City agents bring sandbags to residents to place in front of doors to prevent water from seeping in and concrete blocks to raise furniture. According to the senator and vice-president of the regional council, Franck Dhersin, more than ten thousand victims have already been identified. “Many artisans, traders and SMEs/SMIs are affected,” he underlined on Monday.

According to the prefecture, 1,391 evacuations have been carried out in the department since November 6, including fourteen on Monday, and 7,200 people experienced restrictions on the use of water on Monday evening.

A natural disaster recognition commission for the affected municipalities of Nord and Pas-de-Calais is to be held on Tuesday. In the latter department, 207 municipalities have submitted a file, according to the prefecture. The presidents of the department and the region, Jean-Claude Leroy and Xavier Bertrand, called on Monday, in a letter to Emmanuel Macron, for “national solidarity” to come to the aid of the victims.

The death toll since the start of the episode remains at four minor injuries. A sixty-year-old woman also died in Bailleul (North) at the wheel of her car found on Saturday in a flooded ditch, without the Dunkirk public prosecutor's office being able to establish with certainty a link with bad weather.

Rail traffic is interrupted on two sections (Boulogne-Etaples and Saint-Pol-Etaples) “until further notice”, indicated the SNCF on the X network (formerly Twitter). More than ninety roads remain cut.

Météo-France forecasts for the week an alternation of days without rain followed by precipitation: showers on Wednesday, calm until Friday then a resumption of bad weather until Monday.