Storm Alex is causing major disruption on the Riviera this evening as the Alpes Maritimes is placed under a rare Meteo France Red Alert for heavy rain and flooding. High winds are also affecting our region.
The Mayor of Nice, Christan Estrosi, has asked the people of Nice to stay safe at home because of the severe weather from early this evening.
In Cannes and in Nice, access to the coast has been closed and parks, gardens and forests have also been closed for safety reasons. In Cannes, the Laubeuf car park has been closed as have all municipal facilities as from 5pm. On-street parking in Nice is free today in order to encourage people to limit their journeys. In Nice, local authorities have opened an emergency accomodation centre for those who may be in need of accomodation because of the storm. The centre is in the north of the city at 64 avenue Cyrille Besset.
Because of the Red Weather Alert SNCF says that there is complete cancellation of trains on the Toulon-Nice-Vintimiglia line and the Nice-Breil-Tende line until tomorrow morning. TGV trains going to Nice are terminating in Toulon. As far as buses are concerned, the Lignes d'Azur network is suspended until the end of service today. The 100 Line bus service from Menton to Nice via Monaco has also been cancelled, as has the 100X and the 110 bus to Nice airport. However, in Nice tram lines 1, 2 and 3 are being kept in service, as well as lines 5 and 6. Many Zou bus services are also cancelled. Due to the closure of schools, all lines serving schools are suspended all day.
Driving conditions on the region's roads are difficult because of heavy rain and high winds and many roads on the coast have been closed as a precautionary measure because of high waves and coastal flooding. Several roads have also been closed because of landslides, particularly near the Italian border. The A8 motorway was closed between La Turbie and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the direction of Italy because of an accident.
Heavy goods vehicles have been prohibited from using the A8 this evening between Frejus and the Italian border. As a result an HGV holding operation is taking place on the A8 in the area around Puget sur Argens and Les Adret on the carriageway towards Italy. As a result of strong winds and flooding of the Var river, the exit at junction 51, Carros, of the A8 has been closed in the direction of Italy and the exit at junction 49, Saint-Laurent du-Var, has been closed in both directions.
In Saint-Martin-Vesubie a road bridge was swept away by the floods. Rainfall records were broken in the village earlier today when 218mm of rainfall was recorded in just six hours which is a record for the Alpes Maritimes. The Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes has warned against travel in the department's valleys. The Prefect of the Var has warned residents not to travel by car or on foot on flooded roads.
The Prefect of the Var ordered schools in the eastern part of the department to close from 2pm this afternoon. Schools in the Alpes Maritimes have been closed all day today.
Several of our region's shopping centres have closed their doors this afternoon because of the weather situation. The Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes ordered the closure from 2 p.m. of the Cap 3000 and Polygone Riviera shopping centers and the Marina shopping areas in Villeneuve-Loubet and Les Tourades in Mandelieu. The Prefect has also issued an order closing all forest massifs in the AlpesMaritimes until 6 a.m. tomorrow.
Several hundred properties in the Antibes area were reported to be without power this afternoon.
One hundred extra firefighters arrived in the Alpes Maritimes earlier today to provide reinforcements for their colleagues in the department.
Meteo France have a Red warning, which is their highest alert level, for heavy rain and flooding in the Alpes Maritimes and also an Orange level alert for storms, both until 2am tomorrow morning. They also have an Orange warning for high waves and coastal flooding in the Alpes Maritimes from 6pm this evening. Yellow alerts are also in place for strong winds.
Orange and Yellow flood alerts are in operation for the Var river.
As far as the Var department is concerned, there are Orange alerts in force for heavy rain and flooding and for storms until 2am tomorrow morning. A Yellow warning is also in palce for high waves and coastal flooding in the Var.
There are warnings for high winds in both departments.
You can get full details of all the weather alerts at www.meteofrance.com
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