Monday, October 12, 2015

Floods in France

The recent floods along the Cote d'Azur have highlighted the problem of serious flooding in France. It is estimated that damage to homes, businesses and vehicles will cost at least 500 million euros in compensation. The French State has qualified the event as a 'natural disaster' and will pay for repairs to the infrastructure, including several highways and bridges.

One of the lessons learned is the relative lack of safety of (private) underground car parks, where several people drowned in attempts to bring their cars to the surface as the floods struck. Many had no alternative means of escape other than the exit ramp and no doubt new reulations will be introduced to improve safety in future.

Many parts of France are officially classified as at risk of flooding and when buying property you need to check the 'plan cadastral' and verif via the Mairie what kind of evacuation plan exists in case of emergencies.

Many Mediterranean towns and villages have however excellent systems for evacuating potential flood waters. In my own area of Pyrénées-Orientales some 140 000 or 40% of the population are regarding as living in a potential flood zone.