CFF line between Riddes and Ardon restored after floods, four missing in Graubünden –

The level of the Rhône was falling on Saturday morning in Valais, after significant flooding following heavy rain on Friday. Closed Friday evening, the CFF line between Riddes and Ardon was reopened on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. More than 200 residents of Chippis had to be evacuated. In Graubünden, four people are missing (see box).

Torrential washes, landslides, raging rivers and closed roads, precipitation in recent days and melting snow have caused flooding and damage throughout Valais. So far, no injuries have been reported.

The cantonal authorities also declared a state of “special situation” on Friday at the end of the day, which means that the Council of State now takes control of the security system and which also allows it to have resources additional intervention if necessary.

CFF line reopened

However, the water level of the Rhône fell during the night from Friday to Saturday. Interrupted on Friday evening as a precautionary measure, rail traffic between Riddes and Ardon resumed on Saturday at 8:00 a.m.

According to the CFF, the level of the Rhône had reached a critical height downstream of the Riddes railway bridge. The Lausanne-Brigue line had to be interrupted. Interregio trains were canceled from 10:20 p.m. between Martigny and Sion, as were regional trains between Riddes and Ardon. Replacement buses have been put into service.

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Navizence in flood

A total of 230 people living on the banks of the Navizence had to be evacuated in the village of Chippis, near Sierre, “as a precautionary measure”, indicated the head of the Cantonal Control Body. The evacuated residents will be accommodated the next night in the gymnasium.

Friday June 21: the Rhône and the Navizence in flood at Chippis. [KEYSTONE – JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT]

In Bramois, the Borgne risks overflowing, warns the canton. The banks and the Bois de la Borgne are closed. An inflatable dike was built by the Sion firefighters to protect the village from rising waters and evacuations are possible if this is not enough.

Navizence in fury in Vissoie (VS). [KEYSTONE – JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT]

In Martigny, the flow of the Dranse is also very high and a nearby road has been closed

>> See the images of Dranse and Navizence:

In Valais, the Dranse and Navizence rivers are in flood this Friday
In Valais, the Dranse and Navizence rivers are in flood this Friday / News in video / 34 sec. / yesterday at 5:25 p.m.

Several road axes are cut, in particular the road between Vissoie and Mayoux, the cantonal road between Riddes and the Bieudron factory or the link between Fionnay and Bonatschiesse.

Zermatt cut off from the world

The situation is also particularly tense in Zermatt, where the Matter Vispa river (or the Visp of Zermatt in French) which crosses the Valais resort has burst its banks. Several streets were flooded and the station’s schools were closed.

>> Images of the Vispa in Zermatt:

The Vispa river which crosses Zermatt burst its banks on Friday morning / News in video / 33 sec. / yesterday at 3:30 p.m.

Trains will no longer run between Visp and Zermatt for an indefinite period, the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn said. Trains on lines R40, RE41 and RE42 are canceled due to the risk of flooding. Replacement buses once ran between Visp and Täsch, but this service was also interrupted.

As the road is also closed at least until Saturday between Täsch and Zermatt, there is no longer any access to the resort. At dawn, torrential lava actually poured onto the roadway. People are therefore stuck in the station, but the village president assures that there is no danger

>> Emilien Verdon’s details in Forum:

Heavy rains cause material damage, flooding and evacuations in Valais
Heavy rains cause material damage, flooding and evacuations in Valais / Forum / 2 min. / yesterday at 7:00 p.m.

“Strong” danger for the Rhône

The Rhône is also showing signs of concern. A flood alert of degree 4 out of 5 has been issued from Visp to Lake Geneva until Saturday by MeteoSwiss, which corresponds to a “strong danger”. A situation that only occurs every 10 to 30 years, according to experts.

Faced with this situation, the canton has banned walks on the banks of the Rhône until Monday evening and occasional evacuations are underway. The peak is expected Friday evening and the river should not overflow.

For the moment, the river level is not far from that of 2000, the year of the last major flood episode. It caused significant damage but the dikes have since been reinforced.

According to MétéoSwiss, it is expected to rain until late Friday before returning to dry conditions on Saturday. But the situation will still be monitored very carefully in the coming days. The control staffs continue to observe the waterways and are ready to act according to the evolution of the situation and evacuate if necessary.

>> Details from Flore Dussey in the 7:30 p.m.:

Flore Dussey takes stock of the flooding in Valais
Flore Dussey takes stock of the flooding in Valais / 7:30 p.m. / 1 ​​min. / yesterday at 7:30 p.m.

>> Read also: Due to the risk of flooding, Valais prohibits walks along the Rhône

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