The Heat Is Online

European Storm Kills Four

Four killed as storms batter France and Germany, June 10, 2002

GRENOBLE, France - Violent storms have lashed southeastern France and the southern German region of Bavaria, killing at least four people, flooding houses and sweeping away cars, police said last week.

Police found the body of an elderly woman in a flooded house in Saint-George-en-Valdaine, near Grenoble, in France's mountainous Isere region.

In Germany, two men were drowned in the Bavarian village of Diesdorf when they tried to save their cars from an underground garage that was flooding, police said. An 81-year-old woman also died trying to rescue possessions from a flooded cellar.

In the town of Eppishausen, German police said a 27-year-old woman was still missing after being swept away by flood water. Dozens of others were treated for exhaustion or exposure.

A French police spokesman said at least one house caved in when water up to a metre (3 ft) high swept through villages on Thursday evening, forcing some 300 people to flee their homes.

About 200 rescue workers were still digging dozens of cars out of mud last week, France's LCI television showed. More than 80 children were forced to sleep at school on Thursday night and up to 500 homes were without electricity.

In Germany, many streets and hundreds of cellars were flooded, causing power cuts and pollution of water supplies. At least seven villages were temporarily cut off by the floods.