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Storm leaves hundreds of thousands without power in Europe, British Isles

Storm leaves hundreds of thousands without power in Europe, British Isles
From CBC - January 3, 2018

A violent storm packing winds of up to 160 km/hbattered many parts of western Europe Wednesday, wreaking havoc on transport and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes across France, Switzerland, Britain and Ireland without power.

In Switzerland, the storm cancelled flights at Zurich and Basel airports and toppled a truck on a Swiss highway. Thousands of households at Lake Zurich were left without power, and firefighters were called to help with toppled trees blocking streets and flooding due to heavy rains.

In England, the storm brought hail and lightning and closed some bridges and road. Extremely high tides caused the partial collapse of a harbour wall in Cornwall in southwestern England, bringing seawater flooding in.

Overturned vehicles forced officials to close portions of three major highways in England. The country's main weather forecaster, the Met Office, says gusts reached 160 km/hin Cumbria, 450 kilometresnorthwest of London, early Wednesday morning when the storm peaked.

The storm then crossed the English Channel to damage power systems in France and Germany. Forecasters said gusts of up to 130km/h are possible Wednesday.

France's national electricity provider says it left some 200,000 households without electricity across the country, including 30,000 in the Paris region.

Worst winds in years

The windstorm battered northern France with winds surpassing 140km/hsome of the worst winds to hit France in years. Many people posted photos of destroyed cars, collapsed scaffolding and uprooted trees on social media.

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