More Flooding in Lourdes

Sad news from Lourdes where just 8 months after serious flooding hit the town, it is underwater once again. Fresh thunderstorms hit much of France this morning (Wednesday), adding to the flooding in towns and villages in the foothills of the Pyrenees this week.

I am planning on taking my family to Lourdes in a few weeks. It will be the first time I have returned for about 16 years. I recall standing in the Grotto with Lou when she was just pregnant with Will. Will, Lou and my Mum have all been back since, but it will be Mike, John, and Mary's first time, and my first time back since we had Will.

The Lourdes grotto, which was also flooded last year, was under 1.40 metres of water and the sanctuaries' own web-TV carried video of a muddy torrent submerging the entrance, trees being carried through the town centre and umbrella-toting nuns.

Nearly 2,000 people have been moved out of flood-hit areas in the region and a piligrimage of 3,000 people scheduled for Wednesday was cancelled.

Just up hill from Lourdes, in the village of Pierrefitte-Nestelas, a woman in her 70s was tragically swept away when she and her husband tried to escape from their car, which had been caught up in the flood. Emergency services rescued the husband. Prayers for them both.

The village of Saint-Béat was particularly badly hit, with 1.80 metres of water raging through its streets carrying away cars and camper-vans.

The Gave de Pau river, which passes through Lourdes, is beginning to subside apparently, although the water is still very high according to local officials, adding that they would turn their intention to major damage that has been reported.

Schools remained closed on Wednesday and many roads were cut, including the N125, leading to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, which is now under flood alert. Storms are expected to move west tonight and high winds are expected on the coast. 

This video graphically shows what's going on:

h/t RFi


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