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Residents of France climbed to their roofs as floodwaters reached a record level

Thursday, October 14th 2021, 4:48 am - On this day in weather history, floodwaters inundated France.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.

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In 2018, many areas in Europe experienced heavy flooding. On Oct. 4, 2018, flash floods started to inundate Calabria, a southwest region of Italy. On Oct. 9, the flooding took over Mallorca, an island of Spain.

Widespread floods continued to overwhelm Europe. On Oct. 14, areas of France received many months of rain in a few hours overnight. The next morning, water overtook southern areas of the country. According to weather services in Vigicrues, the Aude river faced the worst flooding it had experienced in more than 100 years.

centre Courtesy of Le Centre d’Information sur l’Eau

In Trèbes, the floodwater was reported to be as high as seven metres. In Villegailhenc, the waters tore down a bridge and carried it away in its current.

France deployed seven helicopters and approximately 700 emergency service workers. Some residents complained that the government provided insufficient communication surrounding the floods.

Some residents climbed onto their roofs as their homes completed flooded. The waters were too dangerous for boats, so people needed to be airlifted to safety.

Many people didn't make it to safety. In France, the floods killed 16 people.

In late October and early November, Italy received a second round of floods. In Venice, floodwaters reached as high as 156 cm — 70 per cent of the city was underwater. In Italy, 36 people died as a result of the extreme weather event.

In total, the floods killed 69 people across Europe.

To learn more about the 2018 European floods, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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