Major roads reopen fairly quickly, and now most regional roads too, devastating floods hit the French Riviera overnight.
Last updated 18:00 Monday 5 October, see below.
Catastophic mudslides and floods in south east France overnight have left at least sixteen people dead and closed many roads in the region.
Up to 180mm of rain fell in Cannes in three hours and 160mm in Mandelieu-la-Napoule just to the west, according to the Interior Ministry. The affected area stretches between Cannes and Nice.
The region had been under amber Meteoalarm for heavy rain but, as Jeremy Crunchant from Protection Civile told France24, ‘Heavy rains were expected, authorities were on alert, but no one expected such destruction.’
Five people drowned in an underground car park in Mandelieu and three others in a tunnel near Cannes.
The region is under a (downgraded) yellow alert for high winds today but drivers should be extremely cautious taking to the road, especially minor roads in the Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Grasse areas.
Many local roads remain closed according to the latest update, including the RD6185 (Mougins-Cannes), RD135 (Vallauris-Golfe-Juan), RD704 (at Antibes under the A8), RD635 (Antibes), the Cap Estel tunnel (Nice-Monaco) and the D23 at Gorbio says the Prefecture des Alpes-Maritimes. (see below for updated list).
The A8 motorway has been particularly affected between J40 Mandelieu and J50 Nice Promenade.
A lane in the direction of Italy was opened at 05:30 this morning according to Vinci Autoroutes. The road is now fully open eastbound with two lanes open westbound. Delays are considerably reduced but the area is still best avoided.
Several junctions remain closed, and the Monaco Tunnel (now reopened), though the situation is improving all the time.
Meanwhile, trucks are being advised to travel between France and Italy via the Mont Blanc or Frejus Tunnels and avoid the A8 overnight.
Vinci says ‘it is essential to be well informed before taking to the road and defer any departure if possible’.
Update 18:00 Monday 5 October: most regional roads have now reopened according to the latest update from the Prefecture des Alpes-Maritime, except: the RD23 (Gorbio) is closed to traffic indefinitely because of a landslide, as is DR 635 (Antibes) due to subsidence. Traffic on the La Brague, Biot / Antibes, RD 4, RD 504, RD 704 remains difficult.
Update 09:45 Monday 5 October: several county roads have reopened according to the latest from Prefecture des Alpes-Maritimes including RD435 in Vallauris and RD 809 (Le Cannet/Cannes). Biot traffic remains very difficult, and access to Sophia Antipolis from Antibes. A further update is due after 10:30BST.
Vinci Autoroutes said traffic remains difficult on the A8 in both directions between Antibes and Nice.