Floods disrupt east-central France
Heavy rains on Sunday force hundreds to evacuate, block major French highways, halt train service and cut power.
3 November 2008
LYON - Heavy rains on Sunday forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes in east-central France and cut two major highways, rescue services said.
More storms were expected in the same region and further south, said France's meteorological office, which warned drivers to avoid minor roads and told people living in flood zones to take precautions.
A fisherman reported missing after going out in his boat Saturday on the Loire river, which was rising rapidly due to the heavy rain, was found safe at home.
He told police he cancelled his trip because of the weather. Police divers and a rescue helicopter were called to search for him Sunday.
On Sunday, the A6 motorway, France's main north-south road, was closed for several hours due to flooding between Paris and Lyon.
The A46 between Lyon and Saint-Etienne to the south was also closed down by the flooding and rail officials said train services in the area would be cancelled until at least Tuesday.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in various regions in east-central France due to the flooding or for fear of rivers bursting their banks, officials said.
Some areas suffered power cuts due to the heavy rains that fell overnight Saturday-Sunday, causing mudslides in some areas as well as damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.
[AFP / Expatica]