by Richard Davies, FloodList
The spate of severe storms that hit parts of Europe during late May (as reported in the last bulletin) continued throughout much of June, again bringing dramatic lightning strikes, strong winds and intense rainfall. The rain, sometimes at record breaking levels, caused countless flood events in several countries, including France, Spain, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. On 3 June the Brittany town of Morlaix was devastated by flooding after 52 mm of rain fell in under 1 hour according to local observers (La Chaîne Météo). The Jarlot river that runs through Morlaix jumped to its highest ever level in just a few hours.
Also on 3 June, Valencia in Spain recorded 116.8 mm of rain in 24 hours, according to Aemet. Roads and tunnels were flooded and transport severely disrupted. In Alginet, Valencia Province, local firefighters were called on to carry out dramatic flood rescues when a car carrying 3 people was trapped in rising flood water. The next day a man died when his car was swept into flood water in Piseux, Eure department in northern France, after 70 mm of rain fell during the night 4 to 5 June. Flooding caused severe damage in several municipalities across Eure department.
Flooding in Bulgaria
The severe weather also affected areas further east, with 71.5 mm of rain fell in 24 hours between 04 and early 05 June in Varna on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, flooding streets and causing severe traffic disruption. According to WMO figures, the city would normally see 46 mm of rain during the whole of June.
Northern France and Spain
From 5 June, more heavy rain affected parts of France and Spain. In the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France, Deux-Sèvres recorded 83 mm of rain and Charentes 70 mm of rain between 05 and 06 June. Two fatalities were reported, one in Casseneuil, Lot-et-Garonne department, and another in the La Queugne river in Epineuil-le-Fleuriel, Cher department.
Heavy rain between 5 and 6 June caused further flooding in parts of Spain, in particular in El Garraf comarca (county) in the province of Barcelona, Catalonia. Servei Meteorològic de Catalunya said that 78.6 mm of rain fell in 24 hours in Sant Pere de Ribes, about 3 km inland from the resort town of Sitges.
After a few day's respite, severe weather struck once again, this time in Switzerland. A record downpour during the evening of 11 June caused flash flooding in Lausanne and other parts of the Lake Geneva region. Swiss public broadcaster SFR Meteo said a record 41.1mm of rain fell in Lausanne in a ten-minute period at around 23:00.
The next day, a short period of torrential rain turned roads into rivers in Rosta, east of Turin, Italy, on Tuesday, 12 June. Other areas also recorded heavy rain. Arpa Piedmont said Vialfrè, north of Turin, recorded 60 mm of rain in 1 hour. In Germany, a man died when he was swept away by the flood water of the overflowing Partnach river in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, on 12 June, 2018. DWD said 60 mm of rain fell in many areas in just a few hours between 12 and 13 June. Vilgertshofen-Pflugdorf, Bavaria, recorded 52 mm in just 1 hour.
Paris and Northern France
Meanwhile in France, Paris and northern parts of the country recorded rainfall between 11 to 12 June.A landslide caused a train to derail outside Paris, leaving 7 people injured. The heavy rain caused flooding in southern suburbs of the city and in Seine-et-Marne department, where around 100 houses were flooded in Chambry. Outside Paris, floods caused severe damage in parts of Ardennes department, with the town of Sedan particularly badly hit, and evacuations were carried out in Yvelines department, Île-de-France and Orne department in Normandy.
Rainfall records tumbled. Meteo France said that Paris recorded 78 mm of rain in 24 hours, a record for a June day beating the previous high of 58 mm set in June 1960. Orly recorded 75mm in 24 hours, its highest ever daily rainfall total. Torcy, to the east of the city, recorded 108 mm in 24 hours to 12 June, also its highest ever amount for one day.