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First snowfall in low-lying areas

37 departments are on orange alert, causing transport problems including suspensions of school buses

THE first snowfall of the year in low-lying areas has disrupted transport, including school buses.

Météo-France has placed 37 departments in the north-east of France on orange alert for dangerous snow and black ice today. People there should be “very careful”, it says.

Up to 5-10cm of snowfall is possible today, or 20cm in valleys in the Alps. Areas affected include the Ile-de-France, parts of Normandy, Picardy, the Nord, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine, Bourgogne, France-Comté and the Rhône-Alpes. The snowy weather started in the more westerly areas and is moving east, with more snow expected tonight in the east.

Road traffic conditions are said to be problematic. In the middle of last night Paris was put on the top Level 3 alert for snow and black ice and speed restrictions were put in place for HGVs. Snow clearance was needed at Charles de Gaulle airport at around 5.00.

School buses are not running in departments including the Aisne, Meuse, Meurthe et Moselle, Doubs, Ardennes et Haute-Saône. In the Somme the prefecture recommended people put off work trips until mid-morning when the snowy weather would have “become less intense”.

Trains in some areas were expected to be running slowly, causing delays.

Photo: Météo France

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