MILAN — Record-breaking rain produced floods in a vast swath of Tuscany as Storm Ciarán pushed into Italy overnight Friday, trapping residents in their homes, inundating hospitals and overturning cars. At least three people were killed, bringing the storm’s death toll in western Europe to 10.
Italian Civil Protection authorities said 200 millimeters (nearly 8 inches) of rain fell in a three-hour period, from the city of Livorno on the coast to the inland valley of Mugello, and caused riverbanks to overflow. Video shows at least a dozen cars getting pushed down a flooded road.
The dead in Tuscany included an 85-year-old man found in the flooded ground floor of his home near the city of Prato, north of Florence, and an 84-woman who died while trying to push water out of her home in the same area, according to Italian news agency ANSA. The other victim was reported in Livorno.
At least three people were missing Friday in Tuscany, and one person was reported missing in the mountains of Veneto, north of Venice. Other regions were on high-alert and authorities warned that the storm was heading toward southern Italy.
Ciarán left at least seven people dead as it swept across Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany on Thursday. The storm devastated homes, caused travel mayhem and cut power to a vast number of people.
As the storm moved on, it left hospitals flooded in Italy’s Pisa and Mugello. Throughout Tuscany, train lines and highways were disrupted and schools were closed.
The mayor of Prato expressed shock at the force of the flood that devastated the city overnight. By early Friday, residents were working to clean the damage.
“A blow to the stomach, a pain that brings tears. But even after an evening and night of devastation, we are pulling up our sleeves to clean and bring our city back to normality,’’ Mayor Matteo Biffoni posted on social media.
Florence Mayor Dario Nardella told Sky TG24 that the Arno River, which runs through the center of the city, had reached the first level of alert, with the highest levels forecast for midday.
“The psychological fear is high, considering that tomorrow is the anniversary of the 1966 flood,” Nardella said, recalling a flood that killed 101 people and damaged or destroyed millions of artistic masterpieces and rare books.