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Snow and Ice: 19 Departments of North and East on Orange Alert

As the situation improves in the south of France, Meteo France has place 19 departments in the North and east on orange alert for snow and ice storms

Snow and ice storm on Friday 2 March to the north and east of France while the situation has improved in the Southeast and especially the Herault .

19 departments were on orange alert this Friday at 6am. The west of the Hauts-de-France suffered in the middle of the night “some weak and scattered freezing precipitation,” according to Meteo France.

The rains “will remain weak” but “freezing”, warns the meteorological service.

In the South, the trend was clearly improving with a spectacular warmth.

Motorists evacuated from A75 and A9

Thursday, in the middle of the afternoon, all the passengers of vehicles blocked since the day before in Herault on the A75 and A9 motorways, around Montpellier, had been evacuated: they were able to take again the road in the majority of the cases . Others were taken care of by coaches and taken to an operations center of Vinci Autoroutes. Crossing points had been opened to allow vehicles to pass on the central reservation of the highway and to travel in the other direction.

The A9 was reopened to all vehicles in both directions of traffic, announced in the evening Smart Bison.

On the A750 motorway, which connects Montpellier to the A75 (Béziers-Clermont-Ferrand), traffic was also restored in the early evening.

However, nearly 240 people were to be accommodated in the night from Thursday to Friday in the four facilities made available for the castaways of the road by the City of Montpellier.

At 9.30am Thursday, nearly 2,000 cars and their passengers were still blocked on these highways after spending the night. On the social networks, motorists exasperated by the situation tweeted: “Is it normal and that the only people who come to take news and offer food are motorists? We are stuck in the same place since 3.30pm! Do you realise? ”

In the department, about 2000 other “shipwrecked” were rescued in the evening of Wednesday and overnight and hosted in various centers, the majority of which were emptying Thursday night.


“Irresponsible”

“Some users were stuck in their vehicle more than ten hours, said Mahamadou Diarra, cabinet director of the prefect of Herault to AFP. We can not minimize the distress with which some have passed.

“However,” he continued, “we must bear in mind the quite exceptional character of the snowy episode we are going through, since for thirty years the Hérault had never experienced such an episode and did not had never been placed on red alert for snow. This exceeded the forecasts that were forwarded to us “.

For a spokesman for Vinci, the situation was compounded by “the irresponsible attitude of heavyweights who pledged on the A9 Wednesday despite the ban, without winter equipment.”

“When several snow removal vehicles intervened, some heavy trucks tried to sneak up and found themselves in the way, hindering snow removal and the services. So indeed, we had a lack of civility on the part of some truck drivers, “added Diarra.

The prefect decided to maintain the Hérault truck traffic ban until further notice, with the exception of heavy goods vehicles traveling the A75 north to Millau or Clermont-Ferrand.

In Montpellier, which experienced up to 30 cm of snow, “the network of roads again became progressively feasible on the main axes but with difficult traffic conditions,” according to the city. All establishments receiving the public were closed. Air traffic, interrupted since Wednesday noon, has gradually resumed at midday.

According to Enedis, the number of households deprived of electricity by bad weather was declining. At 18:00 on Thursday, the cuts still involved 1200 homes in the Herault, 1300 in the Gard, 1800 in the Alpes-Maritimes.

In the rest of Europe, Ireland and Great Britain suffered the cold and snow on Thursday, which has so far caused the death of some 60 people.

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