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Urban Floods in France

At the beginning of 2021, a portion of the Landes département was affected by heavy rainfall associated with the passage of Storm Bella. 

Saturated soils, resulting from the accumulation of precipitation since December 2020, coupled with another episode of intense rainfall, led to significant river overflow. Cities along the Midouze and Adour rivers were among the hardest hit, with several floods during the winter and exceptionally high water levels. In Dax, water levels reached 5.89m in early January 2021, approaching the 6.03m recorded in 1981. In the town of Tartas, the Midouze reached 4.03m between 1 and 2 January, the second highest level after the historic flood of 1843 (4.62m), resulting in the flooding of the town and the impact on 150 buildings.

Use Case Type: Cold & Hot

Satellite imagery of floods in Tartas, France

Key Information:

Locality: Dax to Mont-de-Marsan (Landes)

Event Date: 29/12/2020 – 03/01/2021

Event Type: Riverine Flood

Use Case Objective: Map Urban Floods

Most Intense Flood Episode: 2021, 2018, 2015, 2014 (10-year flood), 1981 (30-year/50-year flood), 1952 (100-year flood)

Indicators to be tested:

  • Historical 6 hourly return period precipitation map
  • Machine Learning data driven forecast of return period-based precipitation events in urban areas
  • Urban inundation probability maps and water depth defined by return period at a spatial resolution lower than 10m 
  • Inferred  Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) urban flood extent
  • Urban flooding map based on geomorphological and InSAR approach for an improved damage assessment
  • Social and traditional media indicators for urban flooding map
  • Hazard web sources indicators
  • Economic impact of floods
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