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Worker dies and widespread damage in France from weekend storms

Train delays and up to 100,000 people still without power in the north and west

Flooding is still expected in some areas. Photo for illustration only Pic: pixinoo / Shutterstock

Several areas of France were badly hit by a new storm at the weekend - coming just days after Storm Ciaran - with it causing extensive damage and bringing the death toll from storms in France to three in the last week.

Storm Ciaran hit the Atlantic and English Channel coastlines, as well as Brittany on Wednesday night and Thursday, although much of France saw high winds from the storm. 

A second storm, Domingos, followed on Saturday, hitting the west of France. 

Two civilians – a truck driver and resident in Le Havre – died on Thursday due to Storm Ciaran.

A worker for Enedis, the company which manages France’s electrical grid, died over the weekend as he carried out repairs at Pont-Aven (Finistère) in Brittany. 

More than 100,000 homes across Brittany, Normandy, and the Gironde and Vendée departments were still without electricity on Monday morning.

More than 20 schools in Brittany remain closed today, despite it being the first day back after the Toussaint half-term break, due to storm damage. Most are expected to open progressively throughout the week.

How bad was the damage? 

Coastlines experienced damage from storm Ciaran. Waves up to 10 metres high, and winds of over 200 km/h hitt the Breton coastline. 

A crane in the city of Brest snapped in two, leading to homes in the vicinity being evacuated. 

You can watch videos of storm Ciaran below: 

Read more: SEE: Dramatic scenes of storm Ciaran battering north-west France

Storm Domingos was classed as “less intense” by Météo France, although winds of over 150 km/h were recorded on Saturday on the Atlantic coastline. 

Departments in the west of France – Gironde, Charente-Maritime, and Vendée in particular – were impacted with trees being uprooted and blocking roads. 

In Bordeaux the roof of the swimming pool on Rue Judqïque was partially destroyed.

Travellers on a Paris-Toulouse train spent Saturday night sleeping in their seats after encountering multiple fallen trees on the tracks. 

Expected to pull into Toulouse around 21:00, they did not reach Brive-La-Gaillarde in the Corrèze department until 08:00 the following day.

The train was cancelled at that point.

One passenger said there was no heating or electricity in the carriages between 02:00 and 05:00.

Death of Enedis worker sparks inquiry 

An inquiry has been launched into the death of the Enedis worker.

The 46 year-old unnamed worker – sent to Brittany from the company’s Pyrénées workforce as a reinforcement during the storm – died while working on an electric cable and could not be resuscitated after a heart attack, the company said.

The Minister for Ecological Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher paid her respects on X (formerly Twitter) to the worker.

Are storms still causing issues this week? 

A number of departments are still facing heightened alerts for river flooding and heavy rain, particularly in the west of France but also in the northern Pas-de-Calais department as Storm Domingos continues to hit the country. 

A number of train services are still affected, including in Brittany, due to trees remaining on the tracks.

Some routes that are completely cancelled have replacement buses, whilst others are facing lengthy delays

On the west coast, trains to destinations such as La Rochelle from Paris have been cancelled. 

You can check if your journey has been affected using the SNCF Connect website – the SNCF will usually inform you if your train has been cancelled or modified if you are travelling via an Intercités, InOui, or Ouigo train, but are less likely to do so if taking a regular TER service. 

Over 100,000 homes were still without electricity on Monday morning, according to the director of Enedis.

A little over 90,000 of these are in Brittany and Normandy – related directly to storm Ciaran – with the rest in the Gironde and Vendée departments, where storm Domingos caused further power cuts on Saturday.

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