The most sustained motorway flood in recent memory has finally been resolved.
All photos Pascal Foulon or Didier Depoorter for VINCI Autoroutes.
Ten days after it closed due to catastrophic flooding just north of Orleans, the A10 finally and fully reopened this morning. Work carried on throughout last night to put the finishing touches. Photo @VINCIautoroutes
Thursday: the A10 north of Orleans is finally flood-free. However, operations continue to clean the road way and make any repairs. There is still no reopening date according to VINCI‘s latest update.
Monday: the remaining stranded vehicles were rescued from the A10 at Orleans overnight according to the latest update from VINCI Autoroutes. Meanwhile, the A71 northbound to Orleans is now open from Salbris, 15 miles north of Vierzon. See a map of the current closures. It is still not clear when the A10 itself might reopen. More water than 22 Olympic swimming pools is still on the carriageway, 80,000 m3 in all says France TV Info. Aside from that, the issue is potential damage to the road. Vinci says pumping and inspection is likely to take several days.
Sunday: the first vehicles stranded on the A10 at Orleans have been freed. Around 100 trucks and 200 cars, spread over 3km, have been trapped between two flooded sections of the motorway north of Orleans since Tuesday. VINCI Autoroutes has been working since Thursday to create a ‘dry corridor’ from a line rubble bags covered by a waterproof membrane. It finally succeeded late yesterday enabling water to be pumped out overnight and tow trucks to move in first thing this morning. In its latest update, VINCI Autoroutes says the rest of the vehicles will be given back to owners throughout the day. Meanwhile, more sections of A10 have reopened to local traffic, including the A19 junction both ways at Artenay. However, through traffic should continue to avoid the area on the A11-A28 via Le Mans. Photo @VINCIAutoroutes
Saturday: sections of A71 between Vierzon and Orleans reopened yesterday afternoon – on top of the A10 sections reopened on Thursday – otherwise efforts continue to free vehicles still stranded on the A10. Two columns of rubble bags are being placed along the carriageway to create a ‘dry corridor’. More later. In the meantime, the road openings are mainly for local traffic. Transit traffic should continue to bypass Orleans on the A11 and A28, or A85 via Tours. Update: progress on reopening more sections including junctions and interchanges but the vehicles remain stranded for the time being. Photo @VINCIAutoroutes. Latest updates in French at Vinci-Autoroutes.com
Friday: two long sections of the flooded A10 north of Orleans were reopened last night, both southbound – Allainville to Artenay in the north and Château-Renault to Meung-sur-Loire to the south of Orleans (see this map). This is for local traffic – through traffic is still being redirected via the A11 and A28. The A71 remains closed northbound from Vierzon according to the latest VINCI Autoroutes update. Efforts continue to lay two lines of tightly packed rubble sacks along the motorway – 6000t in all – to create a ‘dry corridor’ and allow 300 stranded vehicles to escape. Photo @VINCIautoroutes
Thursday: still no sign of the when the flooded A10 (and A71) at Orleans will reopen. The situation remains essentially unchanged says the latest update from VINCI Autoroutes. Drivers with stranded vehicles have spent another night in hotels, or been taken home says VINCI. Fans heading for Sunday’s Le Mans 24 Hour test day are advised to give the area a wide berth. Official diversions are in place via the A28, A11 and A85. Update: great detail in VINCI’s latest update. The A10 at Orleans is flooded in four places over 7km to a maximum depth of 1.3 metres. 100 trucks and 200 cars are stranded on a 3km dry section. VINCI is deploying 200 people this afternoon to pump out the water – at 4000 m3 per hour – and build temporary dikes with 6000t of rubble to create a ‘dry corridor’.
Wednesday: Nearly 400 stranded drivers and passengers were evacuated by the armed forces and given emergency accommodation last night after flooding closed the A10 autoroute just north of Orleans yesterday morning. 250 cars remain stranded and 200 truck drivers have stayed with their vehicles. There is still no word on when the road will reopen. For the latest see VINCI‘s update page (French only). In the meantime, drivers are diverted via the A11 and A28. Photo @VINCIAutoroutes
Tuesday: long stretches of the A10 and A71 around Orleans closed due to flooding.