Flooding Vienne river

Having lived above a valley in the UK whose rivers regularly flooded several villages, that was a primary concern for us when buying a house in France. Only a few weeks after we moved here we had the October 2018 floods around Carcassonne that killed 15 people and damaged many homes and businesses including many vineyards. We were renting at the time in a hilltop village which escaped any flooding so we were lucky.

Yes with older houses it doesn’t even need a river - I stayed in a gite in Southern Vienne 2 years ago and the first night I was there we had a big thunderstorm - the rainwater came straight in through the wall and flooded the downstairs (only an inch or so as in your case).

The gite owners were terribly apologetic but it was an act of Nature and fortunately none of my stuff was sitting on the floor!

Wow! Your first night and nothing on the floor! Most of our gite guests their stuff never seems to get further than the floor - and yes, we do have plenty of cupboard/wardrobe space and chests of drawers. :slight_smile:

Well I was travelling by motorcycle so I didn’t have much luggage - I had detached the panniers from the bike and took them straight upstairs. My backpack was on a chair or on the sofa I think.

I think maybe my motorcycle boots might have been on the floor but those are waterproof anyway.


On my property search I did actually view one of the houses in Montmorillon that I saw in that Sky News video with water probably up to the top of the ground floor doorframes, it was a lovely house with huge potential, but yeah… I thought I was being over-cautious in ruling it out due to the potential it may flood one day. I guess not :flushed::see_no_evil:


I have quite a few friends who live in Montmorillon close to the Gartempe and flooding of cellars is common, and some water in the ground floor is not unusual. This weekend’s flooding was exceptional and the worst since the 1980s apparently. I’m glad that I live on the high ground between the Vienne and Gartempe though.


When we did our ‘buying tour’ St. Beat in the Pyrenees was a cheap option if you didn’t mind the risk of floods - as evidenced by multiple marks on doorframes - as well as the locals appearing to be moving out of town.

Would you have to pay extra tax for an indoor piscine?

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That was why I ummed and ahhhed a lot about that place. If you buy a house on a riverbank you’ve got to expect flooding, if you’re lucky it won’t happen, but there’s a chance you’ll get a certain amount annually. As you’ve said it was the thought of exceptional flooding, ‘the big one’ that happens once a decade, once a century even, one that does some real damage that I just couldn’t get over.