Friday, 23 October 2020

Historic Floods in Tours


Tours sits on an alluvial plain between two large rivers -- the Loire to the north, and the Cher to the south. In the 19th century the city started to expand beyond the higher ground that never flooded. The local inhabitants were of course used to floods, but now they had more devastating consequences.

Flood markers on Pont Wilson in Tours.
Flood markers on Pont Wilson, Tours.   Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The floods which came every decade in 1846, 1856 and 1866 were particularly etched into people's memories, particularly the flood of 1856, which could truly be called the 'flood of the century'.

During this flood, for several weeks the cemetery of Saint Jean des Coups was inundated (where the current Parc Mirebeau is). The water saturated the soil, then started to move the bodies and bring them to the surface. The horror of the situation meant that the municipality had to close two ancient cemeteries that were still in use in the centre of town up until that point. A new cemetery on a piece of isolated high ground called La Salle was opened.


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4 comments:

Colin and Elizabeth said...

The French do handle the water from river flooding quite well in my opinion. Chinon on the Vienne is a good example.

Susan said...

Do you mean in terms of being accepting of having their property flood periodically, or in terms of public engineering infrastructure to mitigate flood damage?

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Engineering infrastructure

Susan said...

In the case of river flooding management, part of a proud tradition of military engineering.

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