The second episode of exceptional flooding in two months which hits Pas-de-Calais must lead to “mobilization at the highest level”, warns the president of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) this Thursday. “This second disaster must lead us to initiate mobilization at the highest level between mayors, presidents of intermunicipalities and the executive,” argues David Lisnard, LR mayor of Cannes, who recalls that this disaster occurs “while the damage of November have not yet been able to be the subject of a complete expertise.
With one in four French people and one in three jobs affected by the risk of rivers overflowing, “there is an urgent need to draw the consequences,” warns the association, which brings together almost all municipalities. The AMF calls in particular for enhancing protection systems (piercings, dikes, etc.) “in certain sectors which no longer make it possible to effectively cope with current weather episodes”.
She also believes that since the creation of the Gemapi competence (management of aquatic environments and flood prevention, Editor's note) which transferred responsibility for protection works to intercommunal authorities from 2018, "the State has gradually withdrawn, without guarantee the capacity of local authorities to finance the necessary work. The management of some 1,500 km of state dikes must also be transferred from January 28, 2024 to intercommunal authorities.
However, according to the AMF, “the transfer conditions are not satisfactory and present a risk”, due to a lack of “technical and financial means to ensure this”. Finally, the AMF calls for the establishment of a “permanent consultation system” with all stakeholders. “This consultation should result in actions on the management of flooding phenomena, on the strengthening of protection systems, on land use planning, on housing policies, budgetary support for the executive under the national solidarity and human and technical support for mayors.