Violent storms hit northwestern parts of France last night (Sunday, May 15) resulting in power cuts for 5,500 homes with 28,000 lightning strikes recorded between Manche (Normandy) and Maine-et-Loire (Pays de la Loire).
Some 5,000 of these homes were still without electricity this morning, as Enedis stated that “the biggest repairs need to be done [today].”
If your home has suffered storm or lightning damage you can download a certificate from Météo-France to help with any insurance claims.
The storm brought winds of up to 110km/h to the region, particularly affecting Calvados and Eure where the communes of Pont-Audemer and Bernay saw the most damage.
In Thury-Harcourt-le-Hom (Calvados), residents spotted a funnel cloud – a type of tornado which does not reach the ground.
Tuba présent au passage de la cellule orageuse à proximité Thury-Harcourt dans le #calvados, je ne sais pas si celui-ci a touché le sol. @KeraunosObs @meteofrance @meteociel @NormandieMeteo pic.twitter.com/hpFAs1lt91— Mathys Cenier (@matce12) May 15, 2022
Northwestern departments were also affected by heavy rain and hailstorms, with 29mm of precipitation falling in 30 minutes in Mayenne, causing mudslides.
Fire in a Normandy children’s home
A children’s home in Troarn (Calvados) was set alight by a lightning bolt in the evening, and much of its roof was destroyed.
Ce paon, imperturbable, alors qu'une 40aine de pompiers luttent contre l'incendie après que la foudre se soit abattu sur un foyer pour enfants et ados (aucun blessé) à Troarn, près de Caen, en Normandie pic.twitter.com/ILMvI0Gf09— Raphaël Fresnais (@RFresnais) May 15, 2022
The 11 children living in the home were quickly evacuated and the fire was eventually brought under control.
Incendie en cours à Troarn près de Caen— Raphaël Fresnais (@RFresnais) May 15, 2022
La foudre est tombée sur la Maison familiale : de jeunes résidents ont été évacués pic.twitter.com/lbqZAxIzMc
“No one was hurt, which is the most important thing,” the commune’s mayor Christian Le Bas told BFMTV, adding that firefighters “stayed on constant watch,” throughout the evening and night.
Six departments – Seine-Maritime, Eure, Calvados, Manche, Orne and Sarthe – were all placed under an orange alert for storms yesterday afternoon, but this has now been lifted.
Parts of northeastern and southeastern France have, however, been put under a yellow storm warning this morning (May 16), as the weather system moves across the country. Further details on the affected areas can be found on the Météo France website.
Now that the storm has passed over Normandy, the sun has returned to the region, with just the odd chance of showers in inland areas of Normandy and Pays de la Loire.
The storm is set to affect much of Grand Est this afternoon, but the rest of the country should see clear skies for the rest of the day.
Météo France predictions suggest that temperatures will drop slightly over the course of this week, although Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes could see highs of 31-32⁰C. Over the course of the week, stormy weather is expected to return to northwestern and central France, moving down to the south east by Saturday (May 21).