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Dordogne and Nice under snow as France freezes

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Schoolchildren play in the snow in Lyon, eastern France on January 15th. Photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP
09:49 CET+01:00
The Dordogne region in France was on alert on Thursday after heavy snowfalls overnight, which reportedly left thousands of residents without electricity.

The Dordogne is better known as a summer destination, attracting thousands of tourists each year but it has fallen victim to the cold snap that has swept across France.

France's BFMTV reported  that around 4,500 residents remained without electricity on Thursday after power went down on Wednesday evening. The winter weather has even hit the French Riviera where residents in Nice awoke to a a covering of snow, local paper Nice Matin reported. A motorway along the Côte d'Azur had to be closed.

Seven departments in the west of France have also been placed on alert for snow and black ice, as temperatures remain well below freezing throughout the country.

Most of the country awoke on Thursday morning to temperatures of between -7° and -3° C, but some areas started their day with the mercury falling as low as -11° C. 

National weather service  Meteo France reported that between 10pm on Thursday and 6pm on Friday, residents in the western regions of Brittany, Loire-Atlantique, the Vendée and La Manche should be on their guard for freezing rain as well as snowfall of 6 to 10 cm.

The regions have been placed on orange alert, the second highest level of warning.

A storm front is expected to hit the Atlantic coast on Thursday evening, bringing snow with it, and will push east across the rest of France overnight, with an average snowfall of  3 to 6 cm, reported French newspaper Le Parisien on Thursday.

To make matters worse, coastal areas in the west should expect strong south-easterly winds.

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Meanwhile, there was some relief for the Pyrenees region after an avalanche red alert, imposed on Wednesday, was lifted.

Have you been affected by the wintery conditions in western and southern France? Send in your photos to news@thelocal.fr

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