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Storms disrupt fête nationale

Bastille Day celebrations rained off as storms lash the north-east, killing one man and leaving homes without power

ONE man has died and thousands of homes left without electricity in violent storms in the north-east of France that disrupted the fête nationale celebrations.

Winds of up to 146kph were reported in the Nord, roads and train lines were flooded and a number of roofs damaged.

A 38-year-old man in the Côte d'Or died and three women were injured when a tree fell on them.

Some 20,000 homes around Revin in the Ardennes lost power yesterday afternoon and 12,000 had still not had their supply restored by this morning.

The wind and rain also affected the Bastille Day celebrations, with a number of towns postponing their fireworks displays including Lille, Dijon and Clermont-Ferrand.

The Champs-Elysées military parade, featuring representatives from 13 African countries, went ahead in torrential rain.

Parts of the A1 motorway north of Paris were flooded and there are still delays on RER lines B and D. Several dozen flights at Charles de Gaulle airport were cancelled or diverted to Lille, Lyon or Brussels.

Météo France has now lifted its storm alert for the whole country.

The latest spell of bad weather came as the préfecture in the Var announced a final damages bill of €1.05bn for the flooding that killed 25 people around Draguignan last month.

Préfet Hugues Parant has threatened to name and shame the insurance companies that are being too slow to pay out.

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