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At least 10 dead after Leslie produces flash floods in southern France

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
October 15, 2018, 9:57:02 PM EDT

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Heavy rainfall from former Hurricane Leslie triggered deadly flash flooding in the Aude region of southern France from Sunday night into Monday morning.

At least 10 people have been killed in flash floods that were triggered by several months' worth of rain that fell in just a few hours, according to the Associated Press. Several victims were reportedly swept away by the torrent of water while sleeping.


“We have people stranded on rooftops. We’re going to have to use aircraft to evacuate them because we cannot reach them by boat given the force of the water. It’s too dangerous,” Alain Thirion, the prefect of Aude, told BFM TV.

France Flooding 10/15

A helicopter hovers above flooded area in Trebes, France, October 15, 2018 in this picture grab obtained from social media video. (TWITTER/via REUTERS)

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The city of Carcassonne received 141 mm (5.6 inches) of rain during the deluge. This is more than 200 percent of the normal monthly rainfall for all of October.

The villages of Conques-sur-Orbiel and Villardonnel are among the hardest-hit areas, where floodwaters reached the first-floor windows of homes.

The town of Trebes saw water levels rise eight meters (26 feet) in only 5 hours.

France Flooding 2 10/15

Cars are seen at a flood-damaged area in Villegailhenc, France, October 15, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. BRUNO MIGUEL MILHAZES/via REUTERS


Around 1,000 people have been evacuated due to fears of a dam failure near Carcassonne. Elsewhere, residents are being advised to stay home and schools in the area remain closed.

Additional showers are expected across the region into Tuesday; however, no heavy rainfall is forecast in the next 24 hours.

Another round of heavy rainfall may affect the hardest-hit areas on Thursday as moisture from former Hurricane Michael impacts eastern Spain and southern France.

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