Powerful storms in Southern France cancel flights and leave several homes powerless on Christmas

Published on : Thursday, December 26, 2013

tropical-storm-300x225Flights were grounded and tens and thousands of homes were left completely without power as powerful winds and torrential rains swept through Southern France.

By 12:30 local time on Christmas Day due to ruptured power lines and widespread flooding in the northwestern Brittany region around 50,000 homes across the country were without electricity, said France’s ERDF power distributor.

Repair work by some 2,000 technicians throughout the day restored power to some 70,000 homes.

Interim director Valerie Wack said that Nice Airport remained closed, with all but a few incoming and outgoing flights cancelled due to poor visibility and conditions on the runway.

Wack said only sixteen planes were able to take off, the airlines are deciding case-by-case whether it’s possible to take off he added.

Heavy downpours led to cancellations of rail, flight and ferry services. Hurricane-force winds have lashed France and Britain, causing five deaths in Britain and one in France. Thousands of Britons woke up to flooding and power cuts on Christmas Day.

The storm had subsided in the north of France but continued to batter southeastern France and the Mediterranean coastline, though winds were less powerful.

an “Orange” alert was issued by Meteo France, the national weather office which maintained level for weather-related danger – its second-highest – in Brittany and a small part of southeastern France but declared other regions mostly calm.

new storm front could hit northern France and Britain on Friday, with hurricane-force winds that are expected to sweep over Ireland, northern Britain and the western coast of Norway.

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