Floods acknowledged as natural disaster

Residents of 42 communes have 10 days to get natural disaster relief from their insurance companies

The floods resulting from last month’s record breaking downpour have been officially recognised as a natural disaster in 42 communes of the Alpes Maritimes and the Var. Victims now have just 10 days to send a report to their insurance company to receive financial assistance.

23 communes in the Alpes Maritimes and 19 in the Var were formally recognised on 31st January; the decree was published on Sunday 2nd February in the Journal Officiel de la République Française.

Residents of those communes have until 10 days following the publication of this declaration – 12th February – to send a report to their insurance company with an estimation of the damage and losses they suffered in relation to the disaster. Insurance providers are expecting to hand out an estimated 200 million euros as a result.

Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi says he is pleased with the government’s swift acknowledgement of the disaster, adding: “I also wish to pay tribute to the efforts of municipal services, who have been working tirelessly these past few weeks to ensure public safety and restore normal traffic conditions.

In the Alpes Maritimes, the communes of Aspremont, Bendejun, Blausasc, Cantaron, Castellar, Castillon, Colomars, Contes, Drap, L’Escarène, Falicon, Gorbio, Menton, Nice, Peille, Peillon, Roquebrune Cap Martin, Sainte Agnès, Saint André de la Roche, Sospel, Tourrette Levens, and La Trinité were recognised as natural disaster zones between 16th and 18th January.

Blausasc, Menton, Sainte Agnès, Castellar and Gorbio were recognised as victims of both floods and landslides between 16th and 20th January. Biot was also considered as having been affected by the landslides but not the floods.

In the Var, the communes of Bormes les Mimosas, La Londe les Maures, Régusse, Besse sur Issole, Le Cannet des Maures, Colobrières, Flassans sur Issole, Fréjus, Hyères, Le Lavandou, Le Luc, Le Muy, Pierrefeu du Var, Pignans, Puget sur Argens, Roquebrune sur Argens, Le Thoronet, Vidauban and Les Arcs were acknowledged to have suffered as a result of the floods between the dates of 18th and 21st January.

A 270,000 euro fund has been unlocked for 180 entrepreneurs in the Var whose businesses have been affected by the events. They have each been given a 1,500 euro compensation by the Régime Social des Indépendant (RSI) of the Côte d’Azur. Further information is available on the RSI’s website to help business owners get compensation.

The rain didn’t stop after that fatal weekend, however. Overall, last month broke the record for the most rain ever recorded in January in Nice, with a total of 279.5 millimetres, according to La Chaine Météo. The previous record of 264 millimetres was set in 1978.

Meanwhile, on Thursday 30th January, a landslide blocked the train tracks between Nice and Drap. Eight families were evacuated as the situation was unstable, reports Nice Matin. Substitution busses have been put in place between the two areas as it may take weeks to restore train traffic.

Residents can call Allo Mairies 3906 for further help or information on claiming natural disaster assistance (French only).

Also published on the Riviera Times Online

Photo by Rolf Liffers