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Understand :

The floods are natural phenomena, necessary for the life of a stream (regeneration of the botanical and animal species). They occur mostly in the winter, sometimes in spring and exceptionally in the summer in the river Charente.
A flood of the Charente, or one of its tributaries, forms when a great quantity of rain has fallen on the region.
It results in a rise in the water level, more or less fast depending on the intensity of the rain, its geographical area; its duration, but also the state of saturation of the soil (indeed soils and vegetation absorb a certain quantity of water until saturation, when the water streams directly towards the river).
The levels of water in the tributaries or the river can quickly exceed the height of the banks, the water then overflows the plain or major bed, we speak about flood.

Picture here above: The city of Saintes
during the floods of 1904 -
Reproduction “Fonds anciens” of Saintes' Media library.

Historic :
The Charente is a river with floods which give rhythm to the history of the region Poitou-Charente. They are recurring as show it the dates of the main floods which marked out the river’s history.
Even if the «big floods " take place only 3 or 4 times by century, since the beginning of the last century, nine large-scale floods printed their mark in the spirits and in the landscape: those of 1882, 1904, 1910, on 1937, 1952, 1961, 1966, 1982 and 1994.