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Two dead after Storms Eunice and Franklin hit France

A couple in their 70s drowned in Manche after becoming stuck in floods, as thousands were still without power this morning and yellow alerts for high winds remain

A view of a French sapeurs-pompiers van

Firefighters received thousands of calls over the weekend as the storms hit, as two people died and many more remain without power Pic: Jose HERNANDEZ Camera 51 / Shutterstock

Two people have died in northern France after Storms Eunice and Franklin wreaked havoc on Friday and the weekend with weather conditions still unsettled today (Monday, February 21).

A couple in their seventies drowned on February 20 after becoming stuck in their car during severe flooding in Bricqueville-sur-Mer (Manche). They became stranded at around 22:00 and called the emergency services, but tragically could not be saved.

Their attempted rescue was attended by around 30 firefighters, divers, a helicopter, volunteers, a medical rescue team, and coastguards, but by the time the car was found, at around 23:15, the couple had died.

The departments of Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Somme and Seine-Maritime were placed on orange alert (second-most severe) for high winds over the weekend (Sunday, February 20).

Roads were closed, some train links were suspended, and 16,000 people in Hauts-de-France were still without electricity first thing this morning.

More than 1,000 electrical technicians at electricity company Enedis were working with partners to “reconnect the majority of clients without electricity by the end of the day”, although continued difficult and windy conditions have slowed down work in some areas.

Delays on TER train services are expected until mid-afternoon today in the region.

Firefighters said that last night was “relatively calm” in Pas-de-Calais, despite 290 interventions overnight as Storm Franklin passed.

Across the region, there were more than 2,000 firefighter interventions and more than 8,000 emergency calls. More than 80% of calls were related to falling materials, such as tiles, walls, and roofs.

In Brittany, ferry and boat services were still suspended this morning, although services are expected to restart between the Finistère islands (Sein, Molène, Ouessant) and the mainland later today.

Météo France has lifted all orange alerts today, but much of the country remains on yellow alert for strong winds and flooding, and the northwest and southwest coastlines are on alert for high waves. You can find out more on the Météo France website. 

Storm Eunice, which was more destructive than Storm Franklin, has been declared a ‘catastrophe naturelle’, for the purposes of insurance claims for damage.

Read more: France to declare ‘natural disaster’ for area hit by Storm Eunice 

Related articles

Severe orange wind alerts in northern France

France’s ‘catastrophe naturelle’ insurance system: how to claim

Power cuts, injuries: Storm Eunice batters northern France

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