Swiss inspect the damage after sudden storms flood roads, halt air traffic in Geneva

GENEVA (AP) — Clean-up crews and business owners were inspecting the damage Wednesday after sudden storms lashed southwestern Switzerland the previous night, sending torrents of water through roads and temporarily halting air traffic at Geneva’s airport.

In the lakeside town of Morges, a creek overflowed, inundating downtown streets with tan-colored floodwater.

The town said no one was injured but that water flows hit 43 cubic meters (1,518 cubic feet) per second, well above the 100-year record of 34 cubic meters (1,200 cubic feet) per second.

Ignace Jeannerat, a spokesperson for Geneva’s airport, said strong and violent storms, including lightning strikes, pounded an area near the airport and more than 50 inbound or outbound flights were canceled late Tuesday. A dozen flights were diverted to other airports.

Air navigation service provider SkyGuide said the basement of its Geneva offices was flooded, causing a failure of a cooling system that forced a temporary shutdown of its operations shortly after 10 p.m.

Olivier Duding of Swiss weather forecaster MeteoSuisse said the French border town of Auberson received nearly 113 millimeters (4.5 inches) of rain in two hours, the third-most precipitation over such a period in Switzerland since detailed record-keeping began in 1981.

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