Météo France extends warning for winds of up to 200kph

The orange alert for Storm Eleanor has now spread to 51 departments at the time of writing

Météo France has extended its orange warning for winds of up to 200kph and high waves across even more of the country - 51 departments at the time of writing - as Storm Eleanor continues.

Orange warnings - the second-most severe level, just one down from the most-severe “red” - for strong wind are in place across most of the north and north-east departments, as well as the more-central Allier (03) and Puy-de-Dôme, plus the Alpine regions of Haute-Savoie (74), Savoie (73), and Isère (38).

The whole of Corsica (2A and 2B) is also on alert.

Wind is affecting most of the departments, along with high wave warnings for the coastlines of Pas-de-Calais (62), Somme (80), Seine-Maritime (76), Manche (50), Cotes-d’Armor (22), Ille-et-Vilaine (35), and Finistère (29).

There is also still a flood warning in place for Gironde (33).

Yesterday Météo France published an alert for 21 departments due to Storm Eleanor, which was later extended to 48, and is now affecting even more areas of the country.

The forecaster has dubbed Eleanor as much stronger than Storm Carmen - the last named storm to hit France, on January 1 - with wind expected to soar to between 90-140kph inland, 110-130kph on the coastlines, and gusts as strong as 200kph on the Corsican coast.

The storm has already caused many thousands of homes to be left without power, and led to significant airport delays.

Residents are warned to take great care when leaving the house, and to watch for flying trees and other debris. You are advised to bring indoors or to strap down any exterior objects or furniture that may move or be swept away by strong gusts, and to postpone any building work until after the alert.

Boat owners and those living near the coast are advised to secure their vessels and not enter the water or go near the coastline, except where 100% necessary. In the latter case, you are advised to use safety equipment such as life jackets and harnesses.

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