Residents of Pas-de-Calais are forced to evacuate their flooded homes again on Wednesday January 3, two months after historic floods, while the water is also rising in Finistère and the north-east of France.

Around twenty people spent the night in an accommodation center in Blendecques, according to the Red Cross of Pas-de-Calais, which is organizing itself to be able to accommodate up to 100 victims there. The town hall, without electricity, welcomes several dozen victims for lunch.

If only the Aa is classified in red on Wednesday January 3, a dozen rivers in the northern half of France are classified in orange, in Pas-de-Calais, but also the North, the Aisne, the Ardennes, Meuse, Moselle, Meurthe-et-Moselle and Finistère.

“In Pas-de-Calais, an exceptional flood is underway on the Aa, the levels have stabilized this morning but a recovery is possible during the day given the upcoming precipitation”, on saturated soils, writes Vigicrues in its 10 a.m. bulletin.

Everywhere in Hauts-de-France, floods are significant and are spreading to downstream sectors. According to the Pas-de-Calais prefecture, more than 50 municipalities are affected in the department and 198 people had to be evacuated. Furthermore, more than 10,000 homes are without electricity in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais. In addition to flooding, the area was affected by strong gusts of wind.

One hundred and twenty firefighters sent as reinforcements

Aerial images of the surroundings of Blendecques reveal large areas underwater. “The evolution of the situation will depend on the capacity for evacuation to the sea, but the tidal coefficients are not very good,” worries the mayor of Saint-Omer, François Decoster, calling for “not walking in the streets flooded because there is current.”

On Tuesday, the prefect of Pas-de-Calais Jacques Billant announced that he expected the department to record “nearly 100 mm of rain” accumulated in six days between Saturday and Thursday. “We will not let Pas-de-Calais down,” assured the director general of civil security dispatched by the Ministry of the Interior, Julien Marion.

One hundred and twenty firefighters were sent as reinforcements and “very substantial resources, pumping in particular”, will be deployed, notably through “requisitions” in the private sector and aid from other States Europeans, he announced.

Four medium and large capacity civil security pumps must be installed in the Mardyck sector (North) on Thursday. Other European pumping means “are being transported from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Netherlands to be operational on Friday” according to the General Directorate of Civil Security.

Further east, in the Ardennes, firefighters were also in great demand during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday due to bad weather. In Quimperlé, in Finistère, the level of the Laïta reached 3.98 m during the night, levels “close to maximums”, and quays, a park and a square were flooded, said the town hall which deployed anti-flood barriers. In Loire-Atlantique, 21 people were relocated with their loved ones due to the flooding of their homes.