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Western France on alert as storm Alex nears

Forecasters put five departments on orange alert for high winds and flooding as the first Atlantic storm of the season barrels towards coast

Storm Alex, the first of the season is rapidly approaching western France, prompting forecasters to place five departments on orange alert for high winds and flooding.

Météo France warned that the four departments that make up the modern Brittany region - Finistère, Côtes-d'Armor, Morbihan and Ille-et-Vilaine, as well as the neighbouring Loire-Atlantique should expect winds of between 100kph inland and 140kph in coastal areas as the storm passes.

Read more: ‘Remarkable’ early snowfall in French mountain ranges

Heavy rain is also expected once Alex reaches France on Thursday afternoon. Further south along the Atlantic coast, winds of between 80kph to 120kph are expected, from the Charente south into the Basque Country.

On Friday, large swathes of the country will be affected as the storm passes. The risk of thunderstorms will also be monitored in the southeast, and gales and heavy rains are forecast for the weekend.

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