Lyon's twin rivers threaten floods as Rhone & Saone rise

Lyon's twin rivers threaten floods as Rhone & Saone rise
By Robert Hackwill
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France's second city is also feeling the effects of a wet start to 2018.


The floods in the French capital Paris are getting all the headlines, but the rising waters in France's second city, Lyon, are also causing concern.

The Saone and Rhone rivers meet in the city, and have broken their banks in the past, most recently in 2003 when the road by the Saone was cut and homes flooded just north of the city.

"I spent all my childhood on the riverside and I rarely saw floods like this, it's pretty impressive," said one man.

"For the Saone, it's been years since we saw it in flood. In general, every winter it is in flood, but the situation is exceptional this year for the Rhône because it is not often that it is in flood. The meeting of the two rivers - confluence - is catastrophic," said one woman.

The lower levels of public car parks closest to the river banks were evacuated and closed, exacerbating the already difficult parking in the city.

Some private garages were preparing to pump out water if needed.

"The car parks are completely flooded and you feel the lack of spaces in the city center," said one frustrated motorist.

For some however it is a chance to mess about on a river flowing with unusual force, and the city's rowers are loving it.

"The recent bad weather has considerably raised the level of Lyon's rivers. The banks of the Rhone have been flooded and partly closed ...

This is the first time since their development in 2007. The level of the Saone remains high, with the peak expected for this weekend. The Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region remains on alert even if the weather forecasts announce drier weather on Saturday and Sunday," reports euronews' Raphaële Tavernier.

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