"Really extraordinary": snow chaos in southern France – one dead, hundreds of thousands without electricity


panorama "Really extraordinary"

Snow chaos in southern France – one dead, hundreds of thousands without electricity

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Snow-covered motorway near Saint-Etienne


It's the first real snow – and the onset of winter has it all. In the southeast of France, 200,000 households are in the dark – on many roads, nothing works, and many trains are closed.

HHeavy snowfalls have caused chaos in the southeast of France. A man was killed by a tree Thursday night, as reported by several French media, citing the prefecture. Traffic came to a standstill, trains fell off and thousands of people were without electricity. The French weather service warned of snow and slipperiness in several departements in the east of the country.

A motorist wanted to clear a blocked road in the evening near the town of Bourgoin-Jallieu, as reported among other things by the newspaper "La Dauphine". He was killed by a tree that fell under the snow load. Another man who had come to the aid of the man was slightly injured.


Some trees are so laden with snow that they are about to topple over


In the Departements Drôme, Isere, Rhône and Ardeche were on late Thursday evening about 200,000 households without electricity, as the network operator Enedis announced. Technicians were on duty to fix the problem. An emergency number has been unlocked.

"It's really extraordinary in such a small space," said Antoine Jourdain, Technical Director and Head of Enedis National Crisis Unit, BFMTV. The trees would fall under the snow load and fall on the power lines. For example, in the municipality of Tournon-sur-Rhône, a 20,000 volt power line had failed due to the snow.

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Many trains around Grenoble are closed at least until Friday noon, said a spokesman for the French railway SNCF the news agency AFP. These include the direct connections Grenoble-Lyon, Grenoble-Valence and Grenoble-Veynes. Many trucks stayed temporarily on the snow-covered roads. The authorities called on residents to leave the car. In addition, many roads were closed.

The weather service warned at altitudes up to 30 inches of snow, locally even more than 50 centimeters. The snowfall should, according to the meteorologists, in the night to Friday.

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