The first storm of fall 2019 swept across France’s Atlantic coast on Sunday with winds of up to 160 kilometers per hour (101 miles per hour) damaging power lines, trees and buildings.
About 140,000 homes lost power mostly in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine, according to the electricity distribution network Enedis.
The firm said on Twitter it had mobilized 700 technicians to restore power as quickly as possible, but faced difficulties due to the continued severe weather. Other teams were on standby as the storm moved inland, it added.
The Cap Ferret headland, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Bordeaux, recorded the strongest gusts at 163 kilometers per hour. Coastal areas were warned to continue to expect strong tidal surges over the next few hours.
Road and rail network impacted
Across the Atlantic coastal region, dozens of trains were canceled or delayed, and several roads were impassable due to fallen trees and power lines.
Forty-seven people had to be evacuated from a campsite in the region of Landes, south of Bordeaux. In the town of Mimizan, the roof of the casino and part of the church steeple collapsed.
Meteo France put 17 areas on alert for continued strong winds and heavy rains which could lead to flooding.
The storm “is progressing inward and is slowly losing steam,” the meteorological agency said on Sunday.
French Riviera also hit
Southeastern France was also hit by heavy rains and flash flooding overnight.
The city of Nice saw emergency services deal with 30 urgent callouts in one hour, mostly due to flooded premises and vehicles inundated with water.
The Nice-Matin newspaper reported that an elderly woman had gone missing after a landslide inundated parts of her property.
In the coastal town of Vitrolles, about 20 kilometers from Marseille, more than 100 people were evacuated from a campsite.
In nearby Marignane, strong rainfall caused two rivers to overflow and spill into the city.
Thirty drivers got stuck in their vehicles and had to be rescued, according to the town’s mayor.
mm/jlw (AFP, dpa)