More heavy rain in northern France raises fears of new flooding

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A new spell of rain in northern France on Monday forced school closures and brought fears of fresh misery after devastating floods hit the department of Pas-de-Calais last week.

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Officials said schools and nurseries in the department’s 279 towns will be closed through Tuesday, with a total of 388 establishments affected. The intensity of the rain is expected to increase Tuesday, the prefecture warned.

Four rivers in the Pas-de-Calais and Nord regions — including the Aa, the Canche, and the Hem — were on orange alert for flooding on Monday, according to Vigicrues, the official river flooding watchdog.  

In the village of Neuville-sous-Montreuil, restaurant owner Cyril Theriez was still pumping water out of his home on Monday morning.  

He said the flood water rose to 1.6 metres (5 feet) in his cellar two days ago. “Now it’s down to 20 centimetres,” he added.

The village is still largely under water, with light rain falling since early morning.

“We’re on our guard, we’re waiting for the water to rise again, and when it does, we won’t be able to sleep soundly,” he said.

Pas-de-Calais was hit by Storm Ciaran in early November and experienced record floods last week.  

Meteo-France forecast showers on Wednesday followed by a resumption of bad weather until Monday.


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