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Storm Gerard Slams France With Hurricane-force Winds, Disrupts Travel

A strong windstorm brought an onslaught of rain, high winds and snow to France during the second half of the weekend

A strong windstorm brought an onslaught of rain, high winds and snow to France during the second half of the weekend, and its effects were still being felt on Monday. Thousands of households were without power, and some parts of the country were still under an orange alert, meaning that dangerous weather is expected.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Lauren Hyde, the area of low pressure that brought the unsettled weather to the country has been dubbed Storm Gerard by Météo France, the country’s official meteorological service.

On Sunday evening, winds gusted higher than 70 mph (113 km (370753.00 feets) (370753.00 feet s) (370753.00 feet)/h) in numerous areas across the country, according to Météo France. At the Pointe du Raz in Finistère, located along the Brittany Coast in northwestern France, the wind gusted to 98 mph (158 km (518398.00 feets) (518398.00 feet s) (518398.00 feet)/h) Sunday night. PHOTO BY ACCUWEATHER

As a result of the strong winds, 90,000 households were without power by Monday morning, France TV Info reported. Most homes without power were located on the western side of the country.

Fallen trees disrupted roads and railway services on Monday, Connexion France reported. In France’s northwesternmost region, Brittany, fallen trees were reported blocking motorists on roadways.

The SNCF, the state-owned railway company in France, reported disrupted services on Monday due to downed trees on the tracks in Pays de la Loire, Ile-de-France and Normandy, three regions of France located in the northern half of the country, AFP reported.

AccuWeather Enhanced RealVue Satellite image

“The train stopped in the middle of the countryside,” one commuter told France TV Info Monday morning. “The controller told us that it was branches on the rails.”

Rough seas in Brittany delayed ferries by almost two hours Monday morning, according to Connexion France.

In Pas-de-Calais, the heavy rain resulted in the Hem River overflowing. According to a report from France TV Info, the river reached a height of 6.10 feet (1.86 meters) on Monday.

“A small village sadly accustomed to flooding,” journalist Florence Mabille reported. “Roads here are cut, a dozen houses are flooded.”

Mabille said the water level on the Hem hadn’t reached this height since the floods in 2012.

#Tempete #Gerard Prudence ! Arbre tombé sur la D781 à l’entrée de Erdeven en venant de Belz/Etel #Morbihan #Bretagne

— Alexandre (@alex_le_bars) January 16, 2023

In the higher elevations, snow and ice created treacherous travel for many.

As strong winds, threats of flooding and snow are still affecting a large swath of the country, Météo France still has numerous regions under an orange weather alert into Tuesday. People living in areas under an orange alert are advised to stay weather aware and updated with the latest forecast.

“While Storm Gerard is set to depart today, another round of heavy rain and high winds can be expected across much of France as a period of active weather is set to continue across the region, with rain and even snow not out of the question over the next couple of days,” Hyde said.

Produced in association with AccuWeather.

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