Météo France warns of heavy rain and winds of 167kph

17 departments are on alert until at least Monday morning

Météo France has placed 17 departments on orange alert for heavy rain, flooding, and strong winds, as well as an avalanche risk in the Savoie.

Dordogne (24), Meuse (55), Haute-Marne (52), Vosges (88), Corrèze (19), and the Pyrenées-Atlantiques (64) are at risk of flooding, while Doubs (25), Jura (39), Ain (01), Cantal (15), Haute-Savoie (74), Savoie (73) and Isère (38) are warned of heavy rain.

The Savoie is also on the alert for avalanches, as the heavy rain will turn into snow from around 500-1,200m, depending on the area.

The Alpes-Maritimes (06), Var (83), Haute-Corse (2B) and Corse-du-Sud (2A) are warned of high winds, with gusts expecting to reach up to 167kph in Corsica, and up to 165kph on the mainland.

The orange alerts - with orange being just one level down from the most severe “red” warning - are expected to last until Monday morning (January 22) at least.

The public is warned to avoid flooded areas in cars or by foot, and to protect belongings from the risk of rising waters, while also being alert to flying objects and trees caught by the wind.

Any work on roofs or buildings is advised to be stopped and postponed until the alert passes, while drivers are warned that the conditions could make visibility difficult.

The wind may affected phone and electricity lines, the forecaster said, and also warned that sea and air travel and work could be disrupted due to the gusts.

Anyone in ski stations is warned to be vigilant and respect the signs and security alerts displayed in mountain areas, as well as to avoid driving on at-risk routes.

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