The Eastern city suffered some of its worst flooding ever with water levels reaching 2 metres in height
Heavy rain last night (Monday) caused heavy flooding, with 1,750 homes suffering an electricity blackout.
In three hours, the equivalent of five to six weeks’ rain fell on the unfortunate citizens of the capital of Lorraine. The violent storms and flooding precipitated more than 600 interventions on the part of the emergency services. Material damage is said to be widespread.
A fire engine collided with a bus during the morning, seriously injuring one fireman and causing slight injury to two bus passengers. The firefighter is reported to have regained consciousness, having earlier slipped into a coma.
The Mayor of Nancy André Rossinot indicated on television that he had requested the government to declare the event a “natural disaster” so that those affected by the flooding may be covered by their insurance policies.
“I didn’t sleep at all, it was so violent. I saw a car landing in the garden of a neighbour before floating off. There’s no electricity since midnight. I can’t understand how it’s possible – there’s not even a river around here.” So said one witness – a resident of Essey-lès-Nancy; a small commune adjacent to Nancy and which was the most affected one by the freak weather conditions. “It’s a massacre,” said another resident of Nancy whose house (which was under construction) was destroyed by a burst main pipe.
Some streets suffered flooding up to two metres in height “with a very strong current that prevented the firemen from crossing” according to Magali Daverton, a spokesperson for the local law enforcement authority. Some roadways are covered in mud and several departmental (county) roads are closed to traffic, as these photos and video demonstrate.A crisis centre was opened during the night by the State emergency services. The floods caused firemen to 600 incidents, compared with an average daily call-out of 160. In the Commanderie quarter in Nancy, more than a metre of water flooded the cellars in a few minutes, explained one inhabitant, who had to battle “a veritable torrent of water.”
About 1,750 inhabitants were still without electricity by 3pm today in the greater Nancy area, of whom approximately half live in Nancy proper, according to the prefecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle.
About fifteen people had to be re-housed, according to France Bleu Sud-Lorraine local radio: “Two rooms were opened to accommodate the people who didn’t feel safe in their houses, but for the time being we don’t have a mass-evacuation situation,” said a spokesperson for the Meurthe-et-Moselle prefecture. Public transport has been deeply affected. Four primary schools in the suburbs of Nancy have remained closed.
This was the second consecutive night of violent storms for the department. “I’ve never been as terrified in my life. I thought it was the end of the world. The hailstones were flying about, smacking on the roof of the house. With my son, we shut everything and huddled inside, we were so scared,” said one inhabitant of Clérey-sur-Brenon.
Video Footage of some of the Flooding in Nancy