end of red vigilance, torrential rains and floods in the two departments

Violent thunderstorms broke out at midday on the Hérault and the Gard. The false ceiling of a supermarket collapsed in Saint-Gély-du-Fesc, fortunately without causing any injuries. Around 4 p.m., Météo-France reclassified the two departments in red vigilance. In a few hours, up to 200 mm of water fell.

The storms announced by Météo France broke out at midday in Hérault and Gard. Heavy rains caused flooding in Saint-Gély-du-Fesc, north of Montpellier, where the false ceiling of a supermarket collapsed. In Montpellier, the Lez overflowed. Relive the main moments of this afternoon’s stormy episode, in this article.

7:00 p.m. : the “red vigilance” is lifted a little earlier than expected on the Gard and the Hérault. The two departments have returned to “orange vigilance” for rains and floods.

6:45 p.m.: the sun returned at the end of the day in certain sectors but red vigilance is maintained until 10 p.m., warn the firefighters. In a tweet they call for caution and recall a few safety rules:

  • As far as possible, stay at home or avoid all travel
  • If it is absolutely essential for you to move, be very careful. Respect, in particular, the deviations put in place
  • Under no circumstances should you enter, on foot or by car, on a submerged road
  • On the road under storm, stop safely and do not leave your vehicle
  • Report your departure and destination to your loved ones
  • In flood-prone areas, take all the necessary precautions to safeguard your property in the face of rising waters, even in areas rarely affected by floods.
  • Provide emergency lighting and make a supply of drinking water
  • Facilitate the work of the rescuers who offer you an evacuation and pay attention to their advice
  • Do not undertake any trip with a boat without having taken all the security measures.

6:35 p.m.: the strong thunderstorms seem to be moving away. According to Météo-France Sud-Est, “the main activity is now shifted to sea“. It’s time for the first assessments in terms of precipitation: sOver the past two hours, 117 mm of rain has fallen in Saint-Jean-de-Védas, including 84 mm in one hour. On the side of Montpellier airport, 67 mm of rain were recorded.

5:45 p.m.: storms have caused flooding that disrupts traffic. On the A709, towards Nîmes, after the Montpellier south exit, the journey time is extended by around thirty minutes, indicates the motorway company which manages traffic on the A9.

5:40 p.m. : the “red” vigilance is valid until 10 p.m. on the Gard and the Hérault. The two departments were then to return to “orange” vigilance.

5:30 p.m.: the images of the floods which hit the Hérault and the Gard become the editorial staff of France 3 Occitanie. On this video, we discover the tennis courts of the town of Saint-Clément-de-Rivière, totally submerged.

5:20 p.m.: the Hérault prefecture has activated a crisis unit and details the resources deployed: 250 personnel mobilized, including 10 water fourster units as well as 10 flood protection groups (machines). Three Civil Security Dragon helicopters are also requested in support.

5:10 p.m. : “stay sheltered at home until the end of the phenomenon !” The town hall of Montpellier calls for the greatest caution, evoking a “hazardous phenomena of exceptional intensity”.

5:05 p.m.: the thunderstorms are heading towards Carnon and La Grande Motte and should evacuate towards the sea and the Gard in the early evening”, adds Alix Roumagnac of Predict Services. He adds “a new event of this type was to cross the Gard and the Hérault tomorrow at the end of the day as well as during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. With the soils saturated by the rains, it will be necessary to be vigilant especially near the watercourses. Things were supposed to calm down from Thursday“.

5:00 p.m.: according to Alix Roumagnac, meteorologist and president of Predict Services, “the particular aspect of these storms is their stationary side: a line formed north of Montpellier and did not move for three hours with Prades and Saint Clément de Rivière as its epicenter: there, 200 mm of water in a few hours. All the rivers: Lironde, Mosson, Lez and Verdanson have overflowed but they are already starting to descend“.

4:50 p.m.: the strong storms that have been hitting the Hérault since the beginning of the afternoon caused the Lez to overflow.

4:40 p.m.: in Lattes, in the metropolitan area of ​​Montpellier, the courtyard of the Lycée Champollion was partly flooded. Students are not allowed out until the storm is over.

4:35 p.m.: according to the departmental council of Gard, it would have fallen this afternoon between 90 and 130 mm of rain in 2h30. Consequence: four roads were closed between Aubais and Junas:

• RD140 between the RD40 and the northern entrance to the Junas agglomeration
• RD140 and RD12 at the southern entrance to the Junas agglomeration
• RD105 Junas entrance
• RD 142 between the RD12 and the RD142 A south of Aubais

4:30 p.m. : the gendarmes of Hérault filmed a real torrent which arose in the streets of Saint-Gély-du-Fesc at the beginning of the afternoon. The video is particularly impressive.

4:20 p.m.: one of our journalists filmed the consequences of the heavy rains in the Gard. The D12 road between Aubais and Gallargues is flooded and closed to traffic.

4:17 p.m.: the Gard and the Hérault in the process of red vigilance for rains and floods.

4:05 p.m. : journalists from France 3 Occitanie send us a photo of a flooded road between Saint-Gély-du-Fesc and Combaillaux. We discover a car literally stranded on a road submerged by water.

4:01 p.m. : the storm is not weakening over Montpellier. Several streets are closed, said the town hall in a tweet. The Piraeus quay has also been closed since 3 p.m.

3:55 p.m. : the first accumulations are important since the start of the storms in the middle of the day. According to Météo-France Sud-Est, it fell in “a slippery hour” 76 mm in Villevielle in the Gard, 74 mm in Sommières, still in the Gard and 60 mm in Prades-le-Lez, in the department of Herault.

3:45 p.m.: the storm continues to park between Hérault and Gard, indicates Météo Gard in a tweet. According to the weather organization, the accumulations would reach (according to radar estimates) up to 140 mm on the side of Aubais, Congénies and Junas.

3:35 p.m.: in Saint-Gély-du-Fesc, the water rose up to 1.5 m according to journalists from France 3 Occitanie present on the spot. Two people were rescued by firefighters.

3:15 p.m.: In Saint-Clément-de-Rivières, where very heavy rains fell, the town hall sent an SMS to the parents of students to reassure them but also to ask them not to pick up their children: “Safe school and daycare children“can we read on the message that continues:”Not picking them up, not taking them away unless the situation improves“.

3:05 p.m. : the heavy rains raise fears of a rapid rise in the waters of the Lez. According to the Vigiecrues websitethe expected precipitation, in particular because of its potential intensities, is likely to produce rapid rises and runoff under the most intense thunderstorms”.

2:55 p.m. : on Twitter, the Hérault prefecture warns: “rainy-stormy lines, sometimes stationary, will follow one another this afternoon” and calls for caution. Storms could also ” be accompanied by gusts of wind of 70 to 80 km / h.

2:30 p.m.: sometimes “significant” “runoffs” are reported north of Montpellier, particularly in Prades-le-Lez, as indicated by Météo Languedoc. In question, a “little mobile” storm.

These storms exhibit strong electrical activity. The accumulations observed are of the order of 15 to 20 mm locally 30 to 50 mm.” emphasizes Météo France which placed the‘Hérault on orange vigilance for thunderstorms/rain/flooding until Wednesday morning.

The Hérault firefighters carried out a reconnaissance in the Saint-Gely-du-Fesc sector “for runoff water around the Intermarché store where a piece of the false ceiling would have collapsed with water infiltration.”

For the moment, no victim is to be deplored and there would be no danger for the customers.

In the hamlet of Galabert, located 2.5 km from Saint-Gely, in the direction of Ganges, the streets turned into a torrent: according to our colleague from France 3 Nicolas Chatail, who is on site, 100 mm fell of rain in 45 minutes.

The SDIS 34 recommends avoiding unnecessary travel and calls on motorists to be careful.

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