14.12.2012 0

Provence & Côte d'Azur: The Var hosted a bout of extreme weather last night and Météo France says the floods could get worse

Torrential rain floods the Var

Residents in the golf of Saint Tropez, Cogolin and Gassin woke up to submerged cars this morning after overnight flooding. Numerous roads in the Var region are now inaccessible due to floods or fallen trees and Météo France predicts that further downpours are on their way.

Last night's flash flood recalls a similar incident in La Garde in the Var on 26th November

At 5am on Friday 14th December, a tree collapsed onto the RDN 98, blocking off transport between La Môle and Cogolin. Fire fighters had to intervene to remove the obstruction and free up the road. Meanwhile, residents in Cogolin were stranded in their homes this morning as the commune's industrial area was inundated with over a metre of water. The inhabitants of Marines de Gassin also awoke on Friday morning to discover that their cars had been immersed in floods.

The communes of Lavandou and Grimaud were among the worst affected after being bombarded with 180mm of rain. This corresponds to two months of rainfall in a typical year.

As a result, the fire brigade of the golf of St Tropez were alerted to over 100 emergencies last night, having to evacuate people from their homes in extreme cases. Rescue services in Fréjus and Sainte Maxime also endured a chaotic night.

According to captain Seitz, commander of the St Tropez brigade, the situation has not yet subsided. "The water has not finished rising," explained captain Seitz to Var Matin. "Streams and other rivers like La Môle, la Giscle, le Bélieu have burst their banks."

Météo France has predicted that another 30 to 40mm of rainfall is on its way in east Var today, while 70km/ph easterly winds are expected in the afternoon. Local residents are advised to avoid travel and to secure susceptible belongings from potential water damage.

The bout of rain has inevitably caused major disruptions to numerous roads in the Var. The prefecture has issued an official overview of the current state of road transport:

CLOSED ROADS

RD 559 to Pr89+300 (via Oseraie)
RD 61A to Pr1+000 (via les Blaquières)
RD 98 from Pr58+000 (station AVIA les Marines de Cogolin)
RD 27 to PR0+200: route La Môle - Le Rayol
RD 198 (avenue Vincent Auriol)
RD 268: route Rocbaron - Garéoult
RD 98 from Pr57+600 (la Foux crossroads leading to Font Mourrier)
RD 98 to Pr47+000 (la Môle)
RD 61 from Pr0 to Pr2: route Grimaud - la Foux crossroads

TRAFFIC DISRUPTION

RD 29 to Pr1+000 (bridge over le Réal-Martin) route Hyères - La Crau
RD 298 to Pr1+500: route Le Lavandou - La Favière.

Isabelle Younane

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