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SNOW

IN PICTURES: French Alps hit by ‘once-in-a-generation’ snow storms

Parts of the French Alps have been hit by the kind of snowfall that only comes once every 30 years. These images show ski resorts buried in the snow.

IN PICTURES: French Alps hit by 'once-in-a-generation' snow storms
Schools, nurseries have been closed and roads cut off in the French Alps after the Savoie department was placed on red alert — the highest warning — for avalanches on Monday. 

Near the French-Italian border, in Haute Maurienne and Haute Tarentaise snow levels reached up to 80-90 centimetres in just 24 hours with the “maximum intensity” of the snowfall hitting on Monday evening. 

“We will have had 2.40 m of snow in 48 hours,” said the mayor of Bonneval-sur-Arc Gabriel Blanc on BFMTV on Monday night.

The ski resorts of Tignes and Val d'Isere were in lockdown with the pistes closed until further notice.

The region remained on alert on Tuesday as it struggled to deal with the spell of snowfall that had an “unusually high intensity,” according to national weather agency Meteo France. 
 
Preventative releases of avalanches will be set in motion as soon as the helicopters can take off, local authorities have said. 
 
This shot was taken at the ski resort of Bonneval sur Arc.

And the video below shows the snow plow teams trying to clear a path at the same resort.

These snaps were taken at the popular ski resorts of Tignes and Val d'Isere.

 

 
 
 
 

 

WEATHER

Schools closed and transport suspended as snow hits northern France

Large parts of northern France, including Paris, woke up to a covering of snow on Wednesday, with schools closed and roads blocked.

Schools closed and transport suspended as snow hits northern France
Photo: AFP

Snow fell overnight across northern France, from the Belgian border to Brittany, via the greater Paris Île-de-France region, which saw between 1cm and 4cm of snow.

 

Authorities in the départements of Yvelines, Essonne and Val d'Oise suspended all classes and moved to distance learning, although schools will provide a minimum service for pupils who cannot stay home.

School transport has been suspended in the greater Paris départements of Yvelines, Essonne, Val d'Oise and Seine-et-Marne.

In Paris, police advised people to avoid taking the roads as much as possible and the N118 is closed to all traffic, while vehicles heavier than 7.5t are banned from major routes across the Île-de-France region.

Bus and train transport in the region is disrupted, but Metro and tram services were reported as running normally.

 

Roads are also closed in Brittany, which has seen falls of 10cm in some areas.

 

Around 200 lorries are blocked on the N12 between Brest and Rennes. Another 50 lorries are blocked on the N164 near Carhaix and drivers are advised to travel only if their journey is vital.

In total 36 départements are on orange alert for snow, ice and very cold temperatures, they are; Finistère, Morbihan, Côtes-d'Armor, Ille-et-Vilaine, Mayenne, Sarthe, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Yonne, Côte-d'Or, Doubs, Territoire de Belfort, Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, Vosges, Haute-Soâne, Aube, Seine-et-Marne, Orne, Calvados, Manche, Essonne, Yvelines, Paris, Val-d'Oise, Eure, Haut-Marne, Ain, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine, Somme, Pas-de-Calais, Nord and Aisne. The alert is in place until 6am on Thursday.

Temperatures are forecast to remain very cold across northern France until the weekend.

 

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