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Paris hit by heaviest July deluge since 1880, France


A storm that hit French capital Paris on Sunday night, July 9, 2017 dumped 49.2 mm (1.9 inches) of rain within 60 minutes, flooding streets, homes and metro stations within minutes. It was the city's heaviest July rainfall since records began in 1880.

According to data provided by Meteo France, heavy rain began at 21:00 CET (19:00 UTC) and continued to fall heavily on Monday. By 22:00 CET, Paris received 49.2 mm (1.9 inches), breaking the previous July record of 47.4 mm (1.84 inches) per hour set on July 2, 1995.

Radar rainfall and lightning strikes on July 9, 2017 in the Paris region in 15-minute steps between 20:00 and 23:00 CET. Animation © Météo-France

By Monday morning at 08:00 CET, Paris saw 68 mm (2.6 inches), slightly above what the city usually sees during the entire month of July (62 mm / 2.4 inches). Some areas near the capital, however, recorded even more than that ie. Poitou-Berry with 100 mm (3.9 inches).

Within the first 36 minutes of the storm, Paris' emergency services tweeted they are overwhelmed and urged residents to call only in urgent cases.

In total, the service received more than 1 700 calls from panicked citizens and reportedly intervened in 87 cases, mainly to pump out flooded cellars, including one in the basement of the culture ministry.

Local media reports that as many as 20 metro stations were closed due to flooding and 3 were still shut at 08:00 CET on Monday morning. Heavy rains also flooded numerous roads, disrupting traffic.

Exceptionally heavy rain was recorded in other parts of France too – 86 mm (3.3 inches) in Civray (Vienne), 77 mm (3 inches) in Lons-le-Saunier (Jura), 61 mm (2.4 mm) in Romorantin (Loir-et-Cher), and 50 mm (1.9 inches) in Guéret (Creuse), according to Meteo France.

The storm followed exceptionally high temperatures across much of the country.

Featured image: Paris flooded after worst July rainfall on record – July 9, 2017. Credit: Jordi Bonabosch


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