Record rainfall in south-eastern France has led to floods in which two people have died – one person in his cellar, another was swept away in his car while it’s reported a third person is missing.
One woman told how her empty car was washed away by a huge wave.
Helicopters have been deployed to pluck people to safety, around 155 were airlifted many more were evacuated by boat.
Officials said at one stage around 4,000 homes were without power.
“I’m in shock, I’ve never seen this before. I had neighbours on the roof, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should go or not. I didn’t sleep last night, I’m shaking and I am scared,” admitted one home owner.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited the area where the mud and silt from the River Gapeau which burst its banks caused significant damage.
In Nice around 100 mm of rain had fallen in three days compared with the monthly average of 85 mm.
The heavy rains also lashed parts of northern Italy where one man was killed and another is reported as missing.
Around 600 people had to be evacuated as the rain storms threatened landslides.
Passengers on a train had a narrow escape when it was stranded on a cliff near the city of Genoa after one of its carriages and the engine were derailed due to a landslide.
Local sources reported it could take weeks to remove the train from its precarious position.