Flash flood soaks resort village in the Vaud Alps

Flash floods hit villages in the Vaud Alps and parts of the Bernese Oberland following a rainstorm late Tuesday afternoon.

Flash flood soaks resort village in the Vaud Alps
Les Diablerets seen in more clement conditions. Photo:Wikimedia Commons

Les Diablerets, a mountain resort town in the canton of Vaud at an altitude of 1,200 metres, was among the communities most affected by the heavy downpour that lasted around half an hour.

Basements of numerous buildings were flooded, including the tourist office.

“There is between 20 and 30 centimetres in the cellar," an employee of the office is quoted saying by 20 Minutes online.

“It’s like a swimming pool.”

Small streams burst their banks and the town’s main road was flooded.

Pierre-Olivier Gaudard, a Vaud cantonal police spokesman, told the ATS news agency that no roads were closed as a result of the rain.

“There is just debris to clear,” he said.

“There is more fear than harm.”

The storm followed a hail and rain storm a day earlier that struck Saxon, a village in the canton of Valais, devastating apricot orchards and flooding basements of 20 buildings.

The extremely localized storm damaged around two-third of the apricots grown in the village, ATS reported.

While not all of them were destroyed, those damaged will not be able to be sold as top quality fruits, and many will be used for juice, jams and eau de vie, the news agency said.

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9,000 lightning bolts: Heavy storms sweep across Switzerland

Hurricane-like gusts have swept across much of Switzerland on Sunday and Monday. Weather experts have counted at least 9,000 lightning bolts striking since Sunday.

9,000 lightning bolts: Heavy storms sweep across Switzerland

As of Monday morning however, the storms have largely receded in most of the country. 

Swiss weather service Meteonews said the canton of Bern was the heaviest hit, with 2,500 lightning strikes. 

Around 850 were recorded in Uri, followed by Fribourg, Vaud and St Gallen. 

Winds of 111km/h were recorded on the Weissfluhjoch summit, while wind speeds of 85km/h were recorded in Meiringen and Sitten. 

Monday will experience some winds, but will largely be sunny. 

Temperatures of 24C degrees are predicted in the north of the country, while heights of 30C are predicted for the centre and south.