a “Absolute record” of rains fell, Wednesday, September 8 evening, on Agen (Lot-et-Garonne), causing flooding in part of the city but without causing victims. In less than three hours, from the beginning of the evening, a cumulative rainfall of “129.6 mm” fell on the city, a “Absolute record in twenty-four hours on this station” Agen, according to Météo-France.
According to a report from the prefecture overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, “The damage is material at this time and no injured or deceased person is to be deplored”. “There were 130 interventions by the firefighters at 11:30 p.m. and 20 people were brought to safety”, added a statement. Some 300 firefighters were mobilized to respond to dozens of calls after these accumulations of rain “Exceptional” according to Météo-France.
On its Twitter account, the town hall of Agen indicated that the city “Experienced a rainy episode of exceptional intensity with more than 2 meters of water in some streets”.
The city of Agen experienced a rainy episode of exceptional intensity with more than 2 meters of water in some… https://t.co/MSkbtqd6UC
Over 3,000 flashes
At around 11 p.m., after a thunderstorm and the end of the precipitation, several streets near the city center were under water, car traffic stopped, with a level of water reaching the knees of passers-by and rushing into houses, noted a correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP) on the spot. In some streets, cars had water almost at the level of their windows.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen so much water in barely an hour”, said Jean-Claude, a resident of rue Tarenque, near the city center. “I barely had time to get out of the car, when it stopped” a few hundred meters further on, the engine “Drowned”, deplores this sixty-year-old. “In fifteen minutes, the water rose by one meter”, says Farah, 23, “Everything is flooded at home”.
According to the French Storm and Tornado Observatory and its Keraunos online site, “More than 3,000 lightning bolts were detected in the Lot-et-Garonne” Wednesday evening and “The same phenomenon is expected in Aude” in the night.
In neighboring Dordogne, firefighters also reported in the middle of the night of flooding, falling trees with a hundred rescue interventions and no injuries to deplore. 200 to 300 subscribers were also deprived of electricity following a break in a line and Enedis technicians were on the scene, according to firefighters.
Thirty-two departments, from Occitanie to Ile-de-France, including Lot-et-Garonne, had been placed by Météo-France on orange vigilance for the risk of thunderstorms and flooding on Wednesday and Thursday.
According to the regional weather forecast at 1:30 a.m., “The stormy axis was moving east, from Ariège to Aveyron. Météo-France anticipates stormy rains » in the second part of the night “In the Tarn, with aggregations locally approaching” 100 mm by Thursday morning “.
In the west of Midi-Pyrénées, the risk of storms “Weakens or ceases”, according to the national bulletin, “Orange vigilance can be lifted. On the other hand, this risk remains in the east of Midi-Pyrénées and in the Aude ”.
The “Rainfall accumulations could still be significant, of the order of 50 to 60 mm, locally more. It is in the Aude that these storms could be the most damaging ”, add the forecasters.