The Gard is placed in red vigilance and six departments in the south of France in orange vigilance for the risk of thunderstorms, rain and flooding this Tuesday by Météo France: Hérault, Lot, Tarn-et-Garonne , Haute-Garonne, Tarn and Aveyron.

The rainy-thunderstorm episode began this Tuesday morning, at 8 a.m. in the Gard and the Hérault. Severe and very localized thunderstorms are expected, with rainfall ranging from 80 mm to 100 mm or more in a short time. Strong gusts of wind and hail are also expected until midday. In the Midi-Pyrénées, the risk of virulent isolated thunderstorms is expected this afternoon, until this evening.

You can follow the situation live in the Gard by listening to France Bleu Gard Lozère, in a special edition. You can also testify and send your photos to the radio’s Facebook page.

At midday, “the most critical point concerns the sector between Montpellier and Nîmes”, declared the prefect of Gard on France Bleu Gard Lozère. 184mm of rain fell in two hours in Saint-Dionisy. The situation is most complicated in the Vaunage. “The entire transport network within the metropolis of Nîmes has been stopped”, as have the trains between Montpellier and Nîmes.

The prefect of Gard asks residents to stay at home, or employees to stay in their companies. “People are out of danger when they stay at their workplace,” recalls the prefect. “In these areas, the children will stay in the canteen this afternoon. I ask parents not to go and pick them up. Those who are in transit, stop at the motorway rest areas.”

“At this time, we do not deplore any victim”, declared the prefect of Gard Marie-Françoise Lecaillon at a press conference. The firefighters carried out 23 safety measures and 90 non-urgent missions in premises “partially flooded”, but “it is a little early to see possible damage”, she warns. About 300 firefighters from Vaucluse and Bouches-du-Rhône came as reinforcements.

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According to Kéraunos, in the Gard, since Tuesday morning, there have been “19,000 lightning bolts” detected since the start of the stormy episode, “with a peak at nearly 6,000 per hour. Up to 1,500 lightning discharges recorded in Vauvert, 1,300 in Nîmes “. The “virulent and torrential storms are now underway, in particular between the Vaunage, the Petite-Camargue and the Nîmes basin”, specifies Météo Gard-Hérault, which evokes a “monstrous storm”. There is “hail and torrential intensity” underway this Tuesday, shortly before 11am, with “powerful gusts of wind”.

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France Bleu Gard Lozère also specifies that the sector of Quissac, forty kilometers north-west of Nîmes was particularly affected by violent thunderstorms this Tuesday morning. The prefecture deplores “infiltrations in a room of the college of Quissac”. And several roads are cut off to traffic in the Quissac sector, according to Infoway Gard. Three other very affected towns: Brouzet-les-Quissac, Liouc and Corconne. The river, Le Vidourle, took 35 centimeters.

Météo Languedoc has indeed found in Corconne, that it had “already fallen nearly 100 mm in 1h30” and “mudslides” with “a car washed away”, according to Météo Gard Hérault. “The storm is parked” this Tuesday at 11 am, “still between Calvisson, Vergèze, Bernis, Générac and Vauvert”.

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Trains are experiencing delays due to inclement weather and there are also traffic difficulties on the A9 with an 8km congestion due to flooding. The Gard prefecture specifies that “schoolchildren are safe. Do not try to pick them up”. The firefighters of the department advise to stay away from “rivers”, “not to go down into the basements” and “not to take your car”.

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In the Gard and the Hérault, since the end of the night from Monday to Tuesday, strong thunderstorm cells have been triggered over an area ranging from the Montpellier and Nîmes regions to the Cévennes. Accumulations of 150 mm in three hours were measured at Quissac. In some areas, the estimated water depth exceeds 150 mm.

This rain and stormy situation will continue throughout the morning in the Hérault and Gard. The most affected areas are the Gard and the north of the Hérault. These storms are locally violent and not very mobile, in particular on the first reliefs of the Gard. They can give 80 to 100 mm in a short time.

Strong gusts of wind, hail and marked electrical activity are also expected. The expected accumulations could locally exceed 200 mm. Thunderstorm activity will subside from the west.

In the Lot, Tarn-et-Garonne, Haute-Garonne, Tarn and Aveyron, the active rain-storm episode requires special monitoring given its persistence and the associated accumulations. From the middle of the afternoon, the situation will become very unstable with the outbreak of thunderstorms first over the Haute-Garonne and the Tarn-et-Garonne then moving east to reach the Lot, the Tarn and Aveyron at the end of the afternoon.

These storms promise to be isolated, but they will be potentially virulent with very high hourly intensities that can reach 30 to 40mm in 1 hour and sometimes intense hailstorms. These thunderstorms circulate in the flow, but can follow one another, thus bringing locally up to 70mm in 3 hours.

After a short lull in the evening, a new stormy pulse will gain by the Pyrenees in the first part of the night and spread rapidly northward to affect all of the east of Midi-Pyrénées in the form of particularly rainy thunderstorm clusters. Under these thunderstorms, precipitation is often expected to be heavy and occasionally very heavy with hourly accumulations that can very locally reach 50mm.

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Ref: https://www.francebleu.fr