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The Centre-Val de Loire region surprised by a sudden rise in several rivers

2024-04-01 21:30:04
A flooded street, in Montbard (Côte-d’Or), April 1, 2024. ARNAUD FINISTRE / AFP

“People who have been living here for a long time know about the rising water levels… Up to 5.50 meters, there are no particular difficulties for the city”launched, Sunday March 31, Jean-Luc Dupont, mayor (Les Républicains) of Chinon (Indre-et-Loire), awaiting a flood announced by Vigicrue and which was long overdue.

As a precaution, as of Saturday, we still proceeded with the evacuation of the 77 residents of the accommodation establishment for dependent elderly people (Ehpad) of Ile-Bouchard, about fifteen kilometers upstream.

Monday, from 3 a.m., the level of the Vienne reached 5.45 meters in height in Chinon, six centimeters higher than in March 2007. The municipal campsite found itself drowned, the rugby field of the Raymond stadium -Bourdon, near the quay of Ile-Sonnante, too. Connected to the city center by a road bridge with arches tickled by water, the Faubourg Saint-Jacques mobilized firefighters and municipal police officers to exfiltrate more than 200 residents to two emergency accommodation centers.

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Sunday, in Nouâtre (Indre-et-Loire), 27 kilometers upstream, there was talk of a hundred-year flood. That day, the level of the Vienne rose from less than 3 meters on Saturday to 9.06 meters, exceeding the level of 8.62 meters which had been reached on January 8, 1982.

Water up to his stomach, its mayor, Laurent Augras, meandered through the streets in waders to convince reluctant elderly people to leave by the fire boat. The grocery store and the bakery took on water. Some soldiers from the military base, located away from the town, came to bring a van and wooden crates to store the goods extracted from the cellars at the last minute. And four affected families even took places among their apartments.

“The speed of rising waters is impressive”

On the other bank, in Marcilly-sur-Vienne, is Camping de la Motte, owned by the Touraine-Val de Vienne community of communes. Tony Lombardy, its manager, saw the silty water take over the sixty pitches and their electrical terminals on Sunday, then penetrate the three mobile homes, the day before the official seasonal reopening. “The prefecture had sent us a red alert by SMS but no figures to realize the extent of the flood that was coming. It was thanks to the mayor, when he came to talk to us, that we really realized”, he testifies. However, it had rained non-stop for a month. “But that from one day to the next, we are told of a flood of 9 meters, it’s strange. Around here, some are wondering if there was a dam release. »

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