Tourists wanting to enjoy a nice vacation on the French Riviera were in for a horrific stay.
Seventeen people were killed in violent storms and flooding in the French Riviera. The famous Cote d’Azur in France’s southeast was hit by 180 mm of rain in just 3 hours.
The train station in Nice has become a place filled with stranded locals and tourists alike.
Dmytro Makarov of eTN Honolulu was vacationing in Nice and looking forward to enjoying his all-prepaid trip from Nice to Paris.
He bought his non-refundable accommodation in Paris for 4 nights on AIRBNB, and bought a round-trip train ticket online from the French Railroad. When getting to the train station on Saturday, his train was cancelled.
The route from Nice to Paris, a major train route, was closed due to the weather situation.
Dmytro tried for 3 more days to get on a train with his ticket from Saturday. On Monday, he was told to pay another 260 euro if he wanted a seat on an operating train. European rail organization SNCF (Centre d’action Sociale de la) would not honor his original ticket but offered a refund only for the going portion of the trip.
Dmytro decided not to go and took the refund. He was told the return portion of his ticket was non-refundable. Obviously since he never made it to Paris in the first place, he could not use a return portion and $100 was lost.
eTN reached out to SNCF and was told the railroad company has strict refund policies, even in the face of natural disasters.
So much for a tourist-friendly country. But at least he was safe and alive.
At least 17 people have been killed in violent storms and flooding in the French Riviera, and 4 people are still missing, President Francois Hollande said. The president visited the site of the disaster, the Cote d’Azur in France’s southeast.
“The toll is not yet final,” Mr. Hollande said. “In these moments, we must be fast, efficient, and coordinated.”
Three people died when water engulfed a retirement home at Biot near the city of Antibes. Heavy flooding saw the River Brague burst its banks close to Antibes, sending deadly waves crashing into the nearby home for the elderly.
Another 3 people drowned when their car was trapped by rising waters in a small tunnel at Vallauris-Golfe-Juan. Rescue teams at Mandelieu-la-Napoule said the water was so murky they could not see the bodies trapped in underground car parks, where at least 7 people died.
“It’s apocalyptic,” Mayor Henri Leroy said. “The parking was half-emptied but there are thousands of vehicles. There could be more bodies.”