Nantes city center flooded after torrential rains on Wednesday

Nantes city center flooded after torrential rains on Wednesday
Nantes city center flooded after torrential rains on Wednesday

In one hour, 40 mm of water per m² fell around the city center of Nantes, in Loire-Atlantique, on the evening of June 19, requiring nearly 400 interventions by firefighters. Spectacular images of flooded streets are circulating on social networks. No injuries reported at this time.

It was almost easier to travel by inflatable boat than by car this Wednesday, June 19 evening in certain streets of Nantes (Loire-Atlantique). A city affected by several stormy events of exceptional intensity during the day. In 24 hours, 71.7 mm of water fell (per m²), compared to seasonal norms of 48.5 mm, including almost 40 mm in one hour just around the city center in the evening. , around 20h.

The ensuing floods generated nearly 3,000 calls to the Loire-Atlantique fire brigade throughout the day, mainly for reasons of flooding of private premises, generating more than 400 interventions. Outside the Nantes metropolitan area, the sectors concerned are Châteaubriant, Nozay, Abbaretz, Issé, Vallons de l’Erdre, Loireauxence and the coast from Pornic to La Baule. No direct casualties have been reported in connection with the climatic event.

“I was going out with a friend last night, passing through a boulevard near the city center”, says Tiffany. In her car, the Nantes woman was taken by surprise by the torrential rains shortly before 8 p.m.

People were knee-deep in water, we couldn’t even see the signs and the traffic lights. It was quite a lunar situation.

“It kept falling! The windshield wipers had trouble keeping up and we started driving into big holes of water. The car lights started to flicker and we got scared when it stopped suddenly, the hood even went up.” Finally arriving safely, driving at a walking pace, the Nantes woman was able to post a few videos on X (formerly Twitter). “After the evening, we had to take the ring road to return, the city center was closed by the police.”

The Loire-Atlantique department remains on orange rain-flood and thunderstorm alert this Thursday morning, while Maine-et-Loire has been placed on red flood alert, just like Mayenne. On Tuesday, it also experienced a very strong stormy event. In four hours, nearly two months of rain fell there, or 135 mm.

The multiplication of episodes of heavy precipitation is one of the consequences of climate change. Extreme heat tends to increase the evaporation of the oceans, whose water accumulates in large quantities in the sky before being dumped in the form of rain on the land. A phenomenon that is all the more problematic in areas affected by drought, where dry soils struggle to absorb water quickly, increasing the risk of flooding. A phenomenon also increased by the artificialization of soils and disruptions to the water cycle caused by human activity.

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