Damaged valleys in the Alpes-Maritimes: reconstruction will take a long time

Roxanne posted her video message on social media. Tears in his eyes and anger in his voice. We hear people say: in a while, things will get better. But it’s not gonna get any better , laments this Atsem (specialist in nursery schools) in Curtains, a town that is still only accessible by helicopter. In the three valleys of the Alpes-Maritimes (Vésubie, Tinée and Roya), swept by torrential rains, the damage is gigantic. Houses gutted by dozens, roads cut, buildings as if trampled by some giant leap …

LR president of the Alpes-Maritimes department, Charles-Ange Ginesy, already knows that the reconstruction work will be long. We have thirty-two roads cut, 35 km of roads and a dozen bridges destroyed, in narrow valleys. For this alone, the cost reaches 500 million euros , he said this Wednesday, October 7. There is also the reconstruction of many buildings: the Saint-Martin-Vésubie gendarmerie, one example among others, has been washed away . Buildings to be rebuilt, but not always in the same place and in a more secure way.

The Nice Côte d’Azur metropolis has also drawn up an initial assessment. At least 600 million euros. The drinking water supply system needs to be largely rebuilt: six factories, three reservoirs, over 25 km of networks. The overall bill, to which will be added the repairs to the electricity network and the railway line in the Roya valley, will exceed one billion euros.

A solidarity fund

And this especially since the president of the department is already pleading in favor of prevention work, the construction of dikes in particular. In Nice, where the flow of the Var has exceeded 2,000 m3 per second, the Napoleon III bridge recorded no damage. The dikes did not give way. A further 250 million euros of prevention work is needed to bring the Vésubie and Roya valleys to safety , insists Charles-Ange Ginesy.

We will be there , assured, Wednesday October 7, Emmanuel Macron to residents of Tende who felt they had been forgotten for at least 48 hours. The Head of State confirmed the taking of a natural disaster order which classifies 55 municipalities. And announced the creation of a emergency fund 06 which will be matched by the State (up to one hundred million euros), the private sector, local communities and the European Union. The Barnier fund (50 million euros) will also be mobilized to help disaster victims beyond what insurance will cover.

One hundred million euros? The elected officials of the Alpes-Maritimes hoped for more. It’s a beginning. And of course there will be more. Several hundred million euros , wanted to reassure Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday evening. But beyond the sums, local elected officials have another concern: May the inhabitants of our villages stay put. And for that, we will have to reassure them and act quickly , notes Charles-Ange Ginesy.


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