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Record rainfall in Paris as summer storms hit France

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A Paris street during Sunday's two-hour storm AFP

A record 49 millimetres of rain in an hour fell on Paris on Sunday evening as storms caused flooding in the metro and on roads in the French capital and elsewhere across the country.


The equivalent of three normal weeks' rainfall fell in just one hour as a violent storm hit Paris, causing as many as 15 metro stations to be closed due to flooding and 87 interventions by the emergency services in the capital and neighbouring towns.

The previous record was 47mm on 2 July 1995.

With 1,700 calls from panicked locals since the storm hit at 9.30pm, the emergency services tweeted an appeal to call only in urgent cases.

Paris emrgency services say they are overwhelmed

At 7.30am Monday they were still dealing with flooding in the Les Halles shopping mall and transport hub, the archives of the Culture Ministry and a carpark in northern Paris.

The storms, which followed a heatwave that saw exceptional temperatures in much of France, started again on Monday morning but traffic on the metro was reported to have returned to normal, apart from three stations that were closed 8.00am.

Roads were flooded in the north of Paris, disrupting commuter traffic.

There was also exceptionally heavy rainfall in other parts of France - 86mm in Vienne in the Alps and 77mm in Lons-Le-Saunier in the Jura.

Twelve departments in the Paris region and central France were still on storm alert Monday morning, although it was expected to be lifted before midday.

More storms were forecast for the afternoon in eastern and central France with hail and winds of up to 80km per hour likely.