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Thousands gathered to see the causeway connecting Mont Saint-Michel to the mainland disappear

'Tide of the century' disappoints but leaves French landmark looking like an island

Monday, March 23, 2015, 11:33 -

Thousands of people gathered in Normandy to see Mont Saint-Michel turn into an island but were disappointed by the failed “tide of the century.”

The French commune is about a kilometre away from the coast and is a tidal island. 

When the water level is low Mont Saint-Michel is connected to mainland by a narrow causeway.

The expectations for Saturday's tide were heights of nearly 14 metres — about 5 metres higher than normal due to Friday's solar eclipse. Unfortunately for those gathered at the historic site, the surge was short of expectations. Despite an exceptional coefficient of 119 on a scale that goes to 120, the calm weather with no wind did not bring the huge waves expected.

"For the "tide of the century" I am a bit disappointed because we saw much higher before. We came one year, we were staying at the hotel Ibis and we could not get out of the hotel because the street was flooded. But it's true that it is impressive," said Jean-Bernard Delamarche, who took the road at 4h30 (0330 GMT) on Saturday morning to be on time in Saint-Malo to see the tide at its height climax.

Even though it is called "tide of the century" the event occurs roughly every 18 years.

Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are a Unesco Heritage Site.

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With files from Rodrigo Cokting

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