‘Mediterranean episode’: what happened when Sunday’s storm hit?

A severe storm that hit the south of France and Monaco over the weekend caused mass damage, death and disruptions to travel in the region.

Sunday 3rd March saw the most extreme weather of the ‘Mediterranean episode’, which is a period of intense storms and incredibly heavy rains that causes extensive flooding. It brought down trees, ripped through powerlines and caused landslides in vulnerable areas of the south of France. As the rain came down, one tragic incident on the A8 motorway led to the death of an Escota worker who had been trying to help relocate a broken down vehicle.

See more: Further details revealed about deadly motorway accident in La Turbie

The worst of the storm occurred between 9am and 3pm, with as much as 100mm of rainfall recorded in the Pre-Alpes-de-Grasse zone and the Mercantour valleys.

The storm led to the closure of several roads, including the RD91 or Route de Casterino due to an elevated avalanche risk and the RM97 to Isola 2000, which was impacted by the heavy snowfall experienced in the more mountainous parts of the region.

See more: Bountiful snowfall has ski resorts in the Southern Alps rejoicing

Coastal roads in Nice and Menton were also temporarily shut for public safety.

Winds from the storm reached 90km/h and caused trees to fall on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, blocking three lanes out of four. In Antibes, six massive trees came down near Port Vauban, causing considerable damage to the road and leading to a complicated clean-up operation. Elsewhere, coastal areas saw parking lots flooded and roads become impassable due to the conditions.

As the storm’s shadows recede, there has been a break in the clouds, with Monday 4th March seeing a return of sunshine. Further rain is, however, forecast for the coming weekend.


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Photo credit: Météo Cote d’Azur, Facebook