PHOTOS: Supertide Turns Mont Saint-Michel Into Island in a Once in 18-Year Spectacle

By By Katy Galimberti, Staff Writer
April 02, 2015, 7:50:55 AM EDT

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For 10,000 visitors, a supertide in France did not disappoint as it immersed the only connecting point of Mont Saint-Michel to shore.

On Saturday, March 21, a supertide inundated the area near Mont Saint-Michel and created a short-lived island as overflowing water made the causeway impassable.

Once every 18 years, experts say a supertide cuts off the only access point, one thin strip of road, to a the home of medieval structures. Drawing more than 3 million visitors a year, UNESCO named Mont Saint-Michel a World Heritage Site.

"The supertide occurs when the path of the earth, moon and sun are all very closely aligned in their orbits," Meteorologist Eric Leister said. "This phenomena, combined with the moon being in its closest position to the earth resulted in this once every 18 year occurrence."

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Sitting on France's northeast coastline, visitors lined up in scores to see the tides rush in a transform the site into an island.

For some, the event was worth a long journey to witness the tide firsthand.


"It's been a long time since we've seen Mont Saint-Michel surrounded by the sea. I was born in this region and I never saw it like this," Wilfred James, who drove six hours to witness the tide, told the Associated Press.

Though onlookers were impressed with the swift phenomenon, Nicolas Pouvreau told France 24 that this year's surge fell a few centimeters short of expectations.

Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Katy Galimberti at, follow her on Twitter @AccuKaty. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.

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