MIPCOM Cancels Opening Night Red Carpet Amid Flooding

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A worker uses a bulldozer to clean the streets of southern France on Sunday, Oct. 4.

The heavy rains in the French Riviera have left at least 16 people dead ahead of the international TV market.

Updated: MIPCOM has canceled its traditional opening night red carpet at the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez following heavy flooding throughout southern France. 

Reed Midem, organizer of the international TV market, apologized via statement for any "inconvenience caused by the exceptional circumstances that are beyond our control." The flooding that occurred on Saturday, Oct. 3, has left at least 16 dead in the French Riviera, although no deaths have been reported in Cannes.

The organizer adds that MIPCOM will begin as planned on Monday, Oct. 5, and the pre-opening TV screening of The Art of More presented by Sony Pictures Television is still set for Sunday, Oct. 4. at the Palais des Festivals Grand Auditorium.

Sunday's MIPJunior conferences have been moved to the Palais des Festivals Esterel Auditorium (one of the only buildings in town with electricity) due to flood damage in the Hotel Martinez.

"The whole MIP team, the Palais staff and our Cannes partners are working non-stop to limit the disruption caused by this exceptional situation," said Laurine Garaude, director of Reed Midem's TV Division.

Previous: Severe weather has battered Cannes ahead of this week's MIPCOM television market, with 16 people dead in the French Riviera as thunderstorms and torrential rainfall flooded the streets of the coastal city. No one has been reported dead in Cannes.

Power was down across much of Cannes on Sunday, with phone and cell service spotty and most of the hotels on the famous Croisette without electricity.

"Actually biblical rain in Cannes right now" tweeted Stuart Dredge, a technology journalist attending the MIPCOM market, on Saturday.

Thunderstorms lashed the French Riviera on the weekend, dumping some six inches of rain on the region in a span of two hours. Sixteen people are reported to have been killed in the storm, with three others missing, though officials at the Alpes-Maritimes prefecture on Sunday said the toll could not be considered definitive given the difficultly of reaching some areas. 

The weather initially shut down Nice Airport and train service to the area was suspended. While MIPJunior is officially still underway, and the weather has cleared up, few people were working amid the disruption.

MIPCOM officials, however, said the clean up efforts are underway and that MIPCOM is set to go ahead as planned starting Monday.

"Reed Midem confirms that despite the flooding that occurred in Cannes Saturday night, October 3rd, MIPCOM 2015 will open for business on time on Monday October 5th," Reed Midem said in a statement. "The whole MIP team, the Palais staff and our Cannes partners are working non-stop to limit the disruption caused by this exceptional situation."

Nice Airport reopened on Sunday and flights were running as scheduled, as were shuttles to and from the airport. Cannes train station remains closed Sunday with no projected opening time.

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