Storms in northern France lead to train disruption and power cuts

Storm Aurora has left a trail of destruction across northern France and Paris, with fallen trees cutting power to 250,000 people and widespread train delays and cancellations.

A house in Brittany, France, destroyed by Storm Aurore.
A house in Brittany destroyed by Storm Aurore. Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP

The storm hit northern France on Wednesday evening, with winds of up to 175km/h recorded overnight.

On Thursday morning 250,000 households were without electricity, mostly in Normandy and Brittany.

In Normandy – where winds of 175km/h were recorded in the coastal town of Fécamp – no trains will run until 10am on Thursday while rail workers inspect the lines for fallen trees.

The towns of Heuqueville and Octeville-sur-Mer saw roofs blown off, local fire chiefs reported, while roads were also blocked by fallen trees.

In Brittany winds of up to 140km/h were recorded in Finistère, where an uninhabited house collapsed and the roof of the Plozévet town hall was blown off.

A fallen tree in Plozevet, Brittany. Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP

In the Paris region transport is severely disrupted on the suburban RER and Transilien lines due to fallen trees on the tracks, while parks including the Jardin du Luxembourg are also closed while storm damage is assessed.

According to information from SNCF and RATP:

RER A to the west of Paris, between Nanterre-Préfecture and Cergy-Le Haut/Poissy, is disrupted

RER C is not running between Pereire Levallois and Pontoise, between Massy-Palaiseau and Savigny-sur-Orge, and between Versailles Château/Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and Champ-de-Mars Tour Eiffel.

RER D traffic is interrupted between Goussainville and Creil.

For all these lines, traffic is expected to resume at 10am.

RER B has slight disruption along the line.

RER E traffic is severely slowed down until 9am. 

Transilien Line U has disruptions along the line

Line H is disrupted between Persan-Beaumont and Creil, between Pontoise and Ermont, between Montsoult and Sarcelles, and between Saint-Leu and Valmondois, until 10am.

Line K traffic is disrupted between Crépy-en-Valois and Mitry-Claye, until 12pm.

Line L no trains are running between Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, Forêt de Marly and Saint-Cloud, and between Cergy-le-Haut and Nanterre-Université.

Line P traffic is disrupted between Esbly and Crécy-la-Chapelle until midday, and disrupted between Paris Est and Provins, and between Paris and Coulommiers until 9.15am.

Lines J, N and R are severely disrupted until 10am.

Mainline trains coming in and out of Paris could also be disrupted, SNCF has warned.

In Grand Est trains are also disrupted in the areas of Nancy, Strasbourg and Champagne-Ardennes and this is likely to continue until midday.

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UPDATE: Stormy weather alerts issued in France

France's meteorological service has issued orange alerts for storms in 21 départements urging the population to be vigilant.

UPDATE: Stormy weather alerts issued in France

Météo France has warned that much of the country will experience storms on Sunday. 

21 départements have been issued orange weather warnings. 

They include Landes, Gironde, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Corrèze, Creuse, Cantal, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Allier, Cher, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres, Haute-Loire and Loire.

People living or visiting these areas are urged to “be very vigilant”. 

Forecasters predict hail and strong winds of up to 110km/h in some areas. Périgord, Limousin, Quercy and areas to the east of Poitou and Charentes are most likely to be battered by strong gusts. 

This weather is set to last until about 3AM on Monday. 

The storms will coincide with temperatures surpassing 30 degrees across much of the southern half of the country.

Last weekend, violent thunder storms left thousands of homes without electricity in northwestern France.