first clean-up operations in the South-West, recession in progress

The first cleaning operations began on Saturday 11 December afternoon in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques and the Landes, affected Friday by heavy flooding and whose rivers, swollen by the rains, began to recede. In these two departments, the gaves – these torrents of the Pyrenees – and the rivers, like the Nive, in Bayonne, came out of their beds, leading to their placement on Friday evening in red vigilance. They went back to orange on Saturday morning.

In the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, “We have a certain meteorological lull”, said Eddie Bouttera, secretary general of the prefecture. “We passed the worst floods”, he estimated. “We had no interventions from the services last night, neither from the firefighters, nor from the gendarmerie”, he added, before calling for continued vigilance. The deployment of terraces and traffic were still prohibited Saturday on the banks of the Nive, which rose to 4.5 meters at 5 p.m.

The first cleaning operations began along the river: traders repelled water from the sidewalks using squeegees or high pressure cleaners. A municipal construction truck was also loading mud to throw it back into the river, whose murky current was still strong and agitated.

“Very slow” decline in the Landes

The South-West is placed in orange vigilance for the risks of floods and avalanches, Saturday December 11, 2021, in the morning bulletin of Météo-France.

In the Landes, the phenomenon combining abundant rains and melting of the snowpack at altitude has led to flooding and disasters in the municipalities of Peyrehorade, Oeyregave, Hastingues, Orthevielle and Sorde-l’Abbaye, according to the prefecture.

In Peyrehorade, where the water rose to 4.5 m at 11 p.m. Friday and engulfed the ground floors of some houses, the recession is ” very slow “, according to the mayor, Didier Sakellarides. “Usually, the water goes down quickly by at least a meter, there we only lost 15 cm in twelve hours. It’s not a lot “, according to the elected official, who always advised his constituents to “Not to return to their homes in the coming hours”.

In total, 211 homes were affected, or around 450 people. About ten people were accommodated last night in the nursing home in Peyrehorade, supervised by the Red Cross. “Currently eight pumps are in operation”, specified the prefecture by announcing the start of cleaning operations.

State of natural disaster

The floods did not cause any victims, welcomed the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, who “Thanked the emergency services and the public service agents who avoided the deaths”, during a visit to the two affected departments.

The minister also announced that the state of natural disaster would be called Thursday. “We can use the means of the State to force insurers to better insure and better reimburse local communities and, above all, traders. Usually, it takes two months to establish a state of natural disaster. There, it will be four days from Monday ”, assured the minister in Bayonne.

He then went to the Landes, where 61 municipalities were affected and “More than 400 firefighters were mobilized for more than 400 interventions”. About twenty roads were still cut at the end of the day in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, detailed the minister.

In the Hautes-Pyrénées, a neighboring department, the situation too “Improves”, even if “The recession is slow and the Adour and Echez are still under surveillance”, depending on the prefecture. In Cauterets, the three mudslides that had cut the access road to the village have been cleared, but traffic has not yet been restored: it should be possible tomorrow after the clean-up operations.

The world