LATEST: Storm Alex lashes France causing flooding and school closures

Weather warning were in place across large parts of France on Friday as Storm Alex brought high winds and torrential rain that left schools closed and homes without power.

LATEST: Storm Alex lashes France causing flooding and school closures
Photo: AFP/Météo France

Thirteen départements are on a weather warning with one – Alpes-Maritime in south east France – on red alert, the highest level. Morbihan in Brittany was on red alert overnight but has now been downgraded.

Overnight Brittany saw winds of 186km/h and 80,000 people are without electricity. Emergency services say they were called to more than 80 incidents and trains in the area remain disrupted on Friday morning.

The storm is expected to sweep south and east, and the Riviera is also on high alert with schools closed on Friday because of forecast localised flooding.

The préfecture of Alpes-Maritime – which includes Nice – announced on Thursday afternoon that all schools would close on Friday, to avoid children getting trapped or have parents unable to come and pick them up.

“An active depression is shifting over the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. We are associated with the dynamics of Storm Alex,” a weather forecaster told BFMTV.

Map: Météo France

In Brittany Finistère and Côtes-d'Armor remain on orange alert.

On the Riviera and in eastern France Sâone-et-Loire, Côte d'Or, Ain, Rhône, Ardèche, Drôme, Isère, Hautes-Alpes, Vaucluse, Alpes-des-Hautes-Provence and Var are on orange alert, while Alpes-Maritime is on red alert.  

The storm will, however, be relatively short-lived and good weather is forecast to return on Saturday.

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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.