UPDATE: snow alert in 14 departments

Snow in Basse-Normandie today - Photo: A Huctin, France 3 Basse-Normandie

Weather warning across north of France as heavy snowfalls sweep in from the west – with motorway closed to all traffic

A TOTAL of 14 departments in the north of France are on orange snow alert today and tomorrow as forecasters warned of exceptionally heavy snowfalls that are expected to last until at least tomorrow evening.

Drivers were facing extreme difficulty in the snow and black ice and part of the A84 motorway in the Manche was closed to all vehicles for about two hours.

The regions of Basse-Normandie, Haute-Normandie and Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Côtes-d’Armor, Oise, and Somme were under orange alert this morning and this afternoon Yvelines, Val d'Oise, Aisne and Eure-et-Loir were also added.

Forecasters warned of heavy wet snow lying and this has led to 24,000 households in Manche being left without electricity as lines have been brought down by the weight of snow.

The snow is also being blown into drifts by the strong wind, which was reaching up to 90kph on the coast. A depression off Brittany is moving east and all the areas covered by the orange alert will be covered in snow in the next 24 hours.

Up to 7cm of snow is already lying in Calvados and school buses in Calvados and Manche have been cancelled as well as in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. School transport has been suspended for tomorrow in Aisne and Oise.

Homeless people in Seine-Maritime, Manche and Calvados have been offered overnight accommodation in special centres under the Level 1 winter alert.

Ferries were also affected with Condor cancelling the Saint-Malo-Jersey service.

Picture: © A Huctin, France 3 Basse-Normandie

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