Clear-up continues after Storms Ciaran and Domingos batter France

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Clear-up continues after Storms Ciaran and Domingos batter France
Flooding on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, in Bastelicaccia, following Storm Domingos. (Photo by Pascal POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP)

Some 126,000 homes were still without power in western France early on Monday, electricity operator Enedis said, as the clear-up continues following the passage of storms Ciaran and Domingos.


“We have restored [power to] 92.5 percent of customers,” in Brittany and Normandy in the wake of Storm Ciaran which struck on Wednesday night, Enedis said in a statement, adding that 81,000 homes were still without power in Brittany, and 11,000 in Normandy.

Meanwhile, 33,000 households were still without power in the south-west region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine following Storm Domingos over the weekend – with 16,000 homes still waiting to be reconnected to the grid in Charente-Maritime, and 9,000 in Gironde.

At one stage during the storms, around 1.3 million properties were without power. A crane in the city of Brest snapped in two during the battering from Storm Ciaran, prompting the evacuation of nearby homes. 

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Enedis said it expected to have restored power completely by Wednesday evening, while “ensuring the extreme safety” of its workers, following the death of one engineer during Storm Ciaran. 


The worker, from Auch, who had been seconded to help with the post-storm recovery work, died while restoring power to properties in Pont-Aven (Finistère).

Along the Atlantic coast, numerous buildings have been damaged by the weekend's storms, and emergency services responded to hundreds of calls for uprooted trees or fallen branches.

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The good news is that no further storms are forecast for the immediate future, but eight départements in the west and north of the country – Pas-de-Calais, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Dordogne, Corrèze and Gironde – remained on orange alert, the second highest, for flooding on Monday.

A slow-moving rain front is expected to dump two weeks’ worth of November rain in an area from the Normandy coast to Pas-de-Calais on Monday.

Several roads in Deux-Sèvres and Vienne remained closed on Monday morning because of the flood risk, while several rail services from Paris to the west coast destinations such as La Rochelle have been cancelled. 

In Brittany, numerous scheduled train routes are being covered by replacement bus services, while others have been cancelled as SNCF workers clear large-scale debris from rail tracks.

More than 20 schools in Brittany remained closed on Monday due to storm damage, on the first day following the Toussaint holidays. It is expected that they will reopen throughout the week.

In Corsica, which is also counting the cost of both storms, the River Porto burst its banks in the town of Ota-Porto, with waters rising to a record 5.4 metres, and flood damage was evident around Ajaccio airport.


The parade of disturbances will continue in the north of France over the coming days, with heavy rains and strong winds – but no storms. However, localised flooding remains possible. 

In mountainous areas heavy snow is expected, but warm and sunny conditions are forecast in the south of France as the week progresses.


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