Lourdes, France, Oct 20, 2012 / 10:17 am America/Denver (CNA).
Flooding in southwestern France has forced hundreds of pilgrims to evacuate the Marian apparition site and nearby hotels.
Busloads of pilgrims were taken to a nearby conference hall and a sports hall while about 40 people were evacuated from their homes Oct. 20, Radio France International reported.
The Gave River, which runs through the city where the Blessed Mother appeared several times to the peasant girl St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, burst its banks after days of heavy rain invaded the region.
A spokesperson for the Marian Sanctuary said the grotto itself is under about 3 feet of water and more rain is expected.
Only the basilica, which is built on higher ground than the grotto, is still accessible.