Storm Ciaran claimed five more lives as record rainfall led to flooding that hit large parts of Tuscany as Storm Ciaran moved into Italy today, trapping residents in their homes, flooding hospitals and overturning cars.
Within three hours, nearly eight inches of rain fell and flooded the Arno River. The death toll from the storm in Western Europe rose to twelve.
Dramatic scenes showed at least a dozen cars being pushed down the road at night by a bubbling, muddy current.
“There was a wave of depth charges without precedent,” Tuscany Governor Eugenio Giani told Italian news channel Sky TG24 as he tried to describe the downpour.
He reported the five deaths on social media and posted photos of vast areas inland inundated by the floods.
At least a dozen cars were pushed down the road overnight by a bubbling, muddy current
An aerial view shows flooding after heavy rains in Prato, Tuscany, Italy, November 3, 2023
The dead in Tuscany included an 85-year-old man who was found on the flooded ground floor of his home near the town of Prato, north of Florence, and an 84-year-old woman who died while trying to drain water from her home pumping in the same area, according to Italian news agency ANSA. Another victim was reported in Livorno.
At least three people were missing in Tuscany and one person was reported missing in the Veneto mountains north of Venice. Other regions were on high alert and authorities warned that the storm was heading toward southern Italy.
At least seven people were killed when Ciaran swept across Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany on Thursday. The storm devastated homes, caused travel chaos and knocked out power to large numbers of people.
As the storm moved on, hospitals in the Italian cities of Pisa and Mugello were flooded. Across Tuscany, rail lines and roads were disrupted and schools were closed.
The mayor of Prato was shocked by the force of the flood that devastated the city overnight. Residents worked to repair the damage until early Friday.
“A punch in the stomach, a pain that brings tears.” But even after an evening and a night of devastation, we pull up our sleeves to clean up and bring our city back to normality,” posted Mayor Matteo Biffoni on social media Media.
A woman tries to clean the mud in Montemurlo near Prato after heavy rains last night, November 3, 2023
Italian firefighters work in flooded streets in Tuscany, Italy, November 3, 2023
Florence Mayor Dario Nardella said the Arno River, which flows through the center of the city, had reached the first alert level and the highest levels were forecast for midday.
“The psychological fear is great considering that tomorrow is the anniversary of the 1966 flood,” Nardella said, recalling a flood that killed 101 people and damaged or destroyed millions of artistic masterpieces and rare books.
In the southern Austrian state of Carinthia, which borders Italy and Slovenia, wind and heavy rain led to landslides, blocked roads and power outages on Thursday night. Around 1,600 households were without power early Friday, the Austria Press Agency reported.
The storm eased in northern France and the Atlantic coast on Friday, but heavy rain continued in some regions as rescue workers cleared debris from the previous day.
The storm caused wooden planks to be rammed into the wall of a French home.
A local resident posted images online of the damage caused in western Brittany in the early hours of Thursday.
Wooden planks were rammed into the wall of a French home on November 2, 2023
Yann Servais posted the images on
Yann Servais posted the images on
The storm reportedly produced wind speeds of up to 170 km/h across large parts of the northern French coast.
Meanwhile, Corsica in the Mediterranean experienced unusually strong winds on Friday – up to 140 km/h.
More than half a million French households remained without power for a second day, mostly in the western region of Brittany. Trains were stopped in several areas and many roads remained closed.
French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to storm-ravaged areas of Brittany on Friday and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne traveled to the hardest-hit areas of Normandy.