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34 departments on alert as Storm Ana strikes

55,000 homes already without power as winter storm smashes into Atlantic regions - and disruption set to spread as it moves inland

A total 34 departments have been placed on orange weather alerts as Storm Ana smashes into the Atlantic coast.

Residents in Ain, Allier, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Cher, Drôme, Eure-et-Loir, Gironde, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Isère, Loir-et-Cher, Loire, Loiret, Maine-et-Loire, Sarthe, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée and Vienne are warned to beware of high winds.

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Corse-du-Sud, and Var are on alert for heavy rain and potential flooding.

After a weekend of snow, the Nord and Pas-de-Calais remain on alert for snow and ice. Between five and 10 centimetres are expected, with as much as 15cm close to the border with Belgium.

Avalanche alerts are in place in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Isère, Savoie, and Haute-Savoie.

Meanwhile, sea flooding is possible along the coast of the Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Corse-du-Sud, Gard, Gironde, Hérault, Landes and Var.

Ana hit the west coast shortly before 8am on Monday. France Bleu Loire Océan has reported that 40,000 homes in the Vendée have lost power, along with 5,000 in the Loire Atlantique and 10,000 in Maine-et-Loire.

Trees have fallen on the railway tracks between Angers and Ancenis, according to the SNCF, which also suffered a major power failure at Montparnasse station.

Disruption is expected to spread across the country throughout the day. Météo-France warned of gusts of up to 150kph along the coastline and 130kph inland as the storm moves southeast throughout the day from the Vendée, through central France to the Massif Central and Rhône valley.

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