Much of south eastern France is lying submerged under water after six months of rain fell in just in 24 hours.
Twenty people have died in the worst flash floods to hit the Var region since 1827.
The cause of the devastation – torrential rain falling in the mountains above the Cote D’Azur which then poured into rivers bursting their banks.
One local resident said she had been terrified.
“You had the impression of being next to the ocean. It was as if you could hear the waves roll in….it was a real torrent which rose up as high as the roofs of the houses… And the cars were jammed in shop windows.”
Another woman said she thought she was going to die but had managed to escape by climbing through a window.
With water levels receding, the clean up operation has begun for some despite warnings of more bad weather to come.
President Nicholas Sarkozy has promised support to victims and in the search for at least seven people still missing.