Power cuts follow violent storms

Thousands of homes are still cut off in the south-east after winds blew down trees and power lines – and even roofs

29 April 2012

AROUND 35,000 homes still had no electricity in Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes this morning, after winds up to 150kph.

At the height of the storm, during the night of Saturday to Sunday, 160,000 homes were without power. Violent winds knocked trees down onto roads, blew down electricity lines and blew off or damaged roofs.

Near Mont Blanc a 20,000 volt cable serving the Aiguille du Midi cable cars fell near the entrance to the Mont Blanc tunnel, which was closed. It was reopened yesterday.

Roofs were blown off a school and an ice rink in Chamonix and a church spire fell in Lyon.

Rail traffic was also disrupted in Burgundy yesterday morning after trees fell on the tracks.

Today there were about 23,000 homes with blackouts in Auvergne – 16,000 in the Puy-de-Dôme, 4,000 in Haute-Loire and 3,000 in the Allier.

In the Rhône-Alpes there were 10,000 homes in the Loire, Drôme and Ardèche and 500 in Isère and Savoie. Bourgogne was also affected – around 1,500, mainly in Saône-et-Loire.

The aim is to reconnect the homes today.

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