Northwest France still on Dennis wind and rain alert

Storm Dennis has already caused damage to power supply in northeast France, with more wind and rain to come

Two departments in northwest France - Finistère and Morbihan (Brittany) - are still on orange alert for high winds and flooding today (Sunday February 16) as Storm Dennis continues.

The alert is expected to last until 16h today at least, and comes after heavy rain and strong winds were already recorded overnight.

Forecaster Météo France said that “after a brief lull” on Sunday morning, “a new rainy passage, along with stronger wind, is expected from late morning”.

It continued: “Rainfall is expected to be from 30-60mm in 24 hours (and in some areas, 80mm in 36 hours, the equivalent of half a month of rainfall for February). In addition, this rain is falling on already-saturated soil.”

Gusts of 100-130kph are expected in Finistère today, it said, with the storm continuing to pass over Normandy later in the afternoon.


Damage already

Around 7,000 homes are already without power due to the storm, which began to hit last night, according to electricity company Enedis.

This includes 2,000 homes in Ille-et-Vilaine and Finistère; 1,800 in Côtes-d'Armor, and 1,400 in Morbihan.

More than 450 agents are working to get the homes reconnected, the company said.

Météo France said: “[Dennis] has already brought high levels [of rain], with 30-40mm over a large area, and more than 40mm in some parts of Morbihan.

“Strong wind is blowing in violent gusts, sometimes more than 100kph in Finistère, the tallest points of Brittany, and on the exposed coastline in Cotentin.”

Other areas in the northwest are also taking precautions as Dennis continues; the city of Nantes has announced that all local public parks and gardens will be closed on Sunday February 16.

In a press release, Nantes authorities said: “[This is due to] weather conditions...rain and violent wind expected, with gusts of up to 85kph. As new forecasts come in, and depending on the state of the area...parks and gardens may gradually reopen on Monday.”

It advised people to postpone any non-essential outdoors activities, and to avoid going near trees.

The storm comes just days after Storm Ciara and Storm Inès hit the same part of France last week.

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