Power cuts and transport disruption as Storm Ciara hits France

Large parts of northern France are on orange alert as Storm Ciara batters the country - complete with power cuts to 130,000 homes and transport disruption in Paris.

Power cuts and transport disruption as Storm Ciara hits France
Waves at Plobannalec-Lesconil in Brittany. Photo: AFP

Ciara was heading through France on Monday with the electricity network company Enedis reporting outages from Brittany in the west to the centre and east.

Méteo-France reported wind speeds of 130 km/h along the coast.


Trees and electricity poles were blown over and roofs ripped off homes across 31 départments, fire and rescue services said.

130,000 homes are without electricity this Monday morning, according to Enedis. The regions most affected by the power cuts are Brittany, Normandy, Hauts-de-France, the Grand Est and the greater Paris Île-de-France region. 

Emergency services in northern France reported “more than 400 interventions in connection with the storm”. The roofs of municipal police buildings in Caudry and a school in Le Quesnoy were damaged.

In Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (Vosges), part of a school roof was blown off.


In Wimereux in Pas-de-Calais a lifeboat had to be launched for several people who had gone surfing on Sunday. The lifeboat organisation condemned “irresponsible” behaviour.

In the Parc Montsouris (in the 14th arrondissement of Paris), the record for the night was 104km/h.

SNCF train traffic across northern France is expected to be severely disrupted this morning, and flights may also be affected.


In Paris although the metro was running largely as normal traffic on both the suburban RER services and the greater Paris Transilien network was badly disrupted and overnight several RER lines stopped running altogether due to the weather conditions.

Paris firefighters said they had received a “large number of calls” and appealed to people to limit their movements as far as possible and secure all belongings.


Anyone booked on a flight in or out of northern France was advised to check with their airline for delays.


Cross Channel ferry services were halted on Sunday but have resumed on Monday morning.

The storm is forecast to stay over France on Monday before moving east on Monday night. Throughout the day winds will gradually weaken in Paris and northern France, moving to the Vosges, Alps and Corsica – which is predicted to see winds of up to 200 km/h overnight into Tuesday.

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South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.