Five months of rain in just under six
hours. An overnight downpour that took locals by surprise, submerging streets and trapping residents in their cars. “I was leaving for work and then the wave
came. It was so fast, I found myself in the car. The water started to lift it and
other cars drifted over and crashed into mine and then the firemen came to get us.
They were great. Even the fireman was nearly carried away, he kept drifting away with the water.” Officials say at least one of those
killed by the flooding was swept away in their sleep. Frances weather service has placed the Aude department on its highest level of alert. The waters of the Aude River have risen nearly seven meters, a level not seen since 1891. “I will be there this afternoon to bring all of the government support to the victims of these floods and this extreme weather.” Seven
helicopters and some 700 firefighters have been deployed to the area to search
for those who may remain trapped. Trains have stopped running and schools are closed, with residents told to stay in their homes.