Storm Aurora hits northern France

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Much of the northern half of France has been affected in the past 24 hours by Storm Aurora, which brought strong winds sweeping from west to east.

This first storm of the autumn season started yesterday afternoon around Brittany and Normandy before moving overnight towards Ile-de-France then towards the Grand Est region in the early hours of this morning (21 October).

It has seen 250,000 homes – mainly in Normandy – affected by power cuts and blocked hundreds of roads and railroads with fallen trees.

No injuries were reported.

Several departments have been placed on orange weather alert for “strong winds” by Météo France, but have now largely returned to green as the storm subsides.

Brittany

Even before the storm arrived, the sea off the coast of Brittany was rough, with waves reaching several meters in height and pouring over the dikes.

As the evening progressed, the wind speed rose to 140 km / h in Plougonvelin (Finistère).

In the town of Plozévet in southern Finistère, a “mini tornado” raged over three kilometers, damaging trees, cars, electric cables and destroying a house under construction.

Fortunately, no one was injured by the event, but the roof of the town hall was damaged and Mayor Gilles Kérézéon said he had “never” seen winds of “such brutality”.

A similar incident occurred in Kernascléden (Morbihan), leading Météo Bretagne to suggest that Brittany had in fact been hit by two tornadoes.

Between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. yesterday, the Morbihan prefecture recorded 100 incidents in 61 municipalities, with 90 trees fallen across the roads and 194 firefighters deployed to remedy the situation.

Normandy

The strong winds caused the suspension of the Norman rail network until 10:00 am. Branches that have fallen across the tracks always cause considerable disturbance.

In the town of Fécamp (Seine-Maritime), the wind speed reached a record of 175 km / h, while in Cap de la Hève it rose to 150 km / h.

Between 9:00 p.m. Wednesday and the early hours of this morning, the department’s firefighters had been called on 127 incidents.

These extreme weather conditions caused tree falls and power cuts in several towns in the department, with roofs damaged in towns such as Heuqueville and Octeville-sur-Mer, where the inhabitants of three houses had to be evacuated.

Firefighters and rescue teams were deployed to clear fallen trees across the roads of Le Havre and Brurée, while several residents of Agon-Coutainville had to be temporarily relocated after the wind blew 10 meters from their roofs. .

Ile-de-France

During the night, winds of 107 km / h were recorded at Roissy (Val d’Oise) and the top of the Eiffel Tower withstood gusts of up to 153 km / h. Extreme weather conditions continued to affect all of Ile-de-France this morning.

Traffic tracking service Sytadin recorded 387km of traffic jams in Ile-de-France at 08:00 this morning, against 200 for a normal Thursday.

The RER and Transilien trains are still disrupted due to fallen trees obstructing the tracks.

TER trains entering and leaving Paris are also affected by delays this morning. Passengers are advised to check which trains are running before starting their journey.

Great East

The departments of Grand Est Ardennes, Marne and Meuse were the last to be removed from Météo France’s orange alert to strong winds earlier this morning.

Overnight, winds of up to 170 km / h hit the Markstein ski resort, breaking the 2013 record of 162 km / h.

In the Bas-Rhin, firefighters and emergency services received 198 calls between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. this morning, and a hundred firefighters are still deployed throughout Alsace.

In Alsace, some TER lines are suspended, while in Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne all services are affected.

It is hoped that the problems affecting rail transport in the region will be resolved by 12 noon.

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