The last few weeks have seen heavy rainfall all over the Atlantic margins of western Europe, not the least amount falling on Aquitaine (simply put, the area of France east of Bordeaux). The rivers in this region are fed from the Black Mountains and the Massif Central to the north and the Pyrenees to the south, and when rain falls they fill up fast. Levels rise, currents get powerful and all sorts of detritus (tree trucks, branches, etc.) comes hurtling down. In the last few days the River Lot, the Baise and most particularly the Garonne have risen massively – the Garonne by some 6m at Tonneins, where the river must be running at about 15kph.
Normal conditions on the Lot are around 100 cu.m water per second, navigation closes when this flow reaches 300 cu.m/sec. Recently, flows exceeding 1000 cu.m were recorded. Naturally, all access from the Canal de Garonne to the Baise at Buzet is closed, ditto. the access onto the Garonne from the Baise at Saint-Leger, and (obviously) all access to the Garonne from the Lot at Nicole.
Useful websites to research and monitor conditions are –
Click below to open a gallery of ‘normal’ and ‘flood’ images.