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Violent storms hit France with more on the way

Ben McPartland
Ben McPartland - [email protected]
Violent storms hit France with more on the way
Parisians shelter from the heavy rain. Photo: Francois Guillot/AFP

A swathe of France was hit by violent storms overnight on Tuesday, with hail storms, strong winds and heavy rain causing widespread damage (see video). More extreme weather are on their way with 15 departments still on ‘Orange alert’ for storms.

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Firefighters had a busy night in France on Tuesday as summer storms caused damage in several parts of the country.

In the central city of Clermont-Ferrand and its surroundings firefighters were called out 600 times to deal with everything from flooded cellars to blocked roads after streets were turned into rivers by heavy downpours.

In the Corrèze region fiefighters were called out to clear roads, blocked by falling trees and deal with a fire at a transformer station which was sparked by a lightning strike.

In the Loire region emergency services reported that 400 homes were left damaged after hail storms hit the area. The force ofthe hail stones damaged rooves of homes in the area around Montbrison.

This video shown on French TV channel TF1 showed hail stones the size of ping pong balls falling in the Puy-de-Dôme department in the centre of the country.

In Limousin several night trains were blocked at Limoges station after a tree was blown over on the tracks. The tree was cleared at around 6am on Wednesday but SNCF have warned of delays on the line.

The storms are set to continue on Wednesday with warnings in place for 15 departments in the centre of the country.

The departments on "Orange alert" are Ariège, Aveyron, Haute-Garonne, Tarn, Lozère, Gard, Hérault, la Loire, as well as Ain, Ardèche, Drôme, Isère, Haute-Loire, Rhône et Vaucluse. 

The warnings were lifted on Wednesday morning in the region of Burgundy, which will be a relief for wine growers who have had their crops devastated by hails storms once already this summer.

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