Snow and Ice Storm: Difficult Traffic in the South, 56 Departments in Orange Alert

General News
Snow and ice causing problems throughout France

The episode of snow and ice continues and reaches the north of the country, this Thursday morning. In the south of France, up to 30 cm fell, causing big disturbances on the roads.

The snow is expected Thursday, March 1st on the north of France after disrupting transport and blocked many motorists on the roads and highways of the South, where the red alert was raised in the Herault.

Fifty-six departments, from the South, West, Central and East of the country, are since Wednesday evening in orange vigilance mainly for snow and ice.

From the center-west to the south of the Hauts-de-France, the Grand Est and the Alps, the snow is announced and will be followed by “an episode of freezing rain,” forecasts Météo France. A more dangerous phenomenon than just snow and ice, according to forecaster François Jobard.

In Ile-de-France, where one waits between 1 to 3 cm of snow, the prefect of police activated the plan snow-ice and “strongly advises the displacements by car” until 2pm on Thursday. Truck traffic is prohibited on the N118 in Yvelines.

Elected on the street

In Paris, some thirty elected Parisians decided to spend the night in the street to alert the fate of the homeless. “We can not continue to watch the homeless as if they were a simple piece of the decor,” said Ali Idelouali, elected (EELV) of Choisy-le-Roi.

In the Hérault, where the main difficulties were concentrated on Wednesday, the snow should be gradually replaced by rain at the end of the night, according to Météo France.

The department came out of the red alert and ironed orange alert Thursday at 6am.

Motorists housed in emergency centers

Some 1,000 “shipwrecked by the road” were accommodated in 25 open centers to welcome them in the Hérault, including 500 in Gignac located 30 km northwest of Montpellier, told AFP the prefecture. Some 200 gendarmes were mobilized in the department to help them.

Among those shipwrecked are Virginie and her two young children. Stuck for three hours on the A750, they lived a day of “absolute galley” before finding refuge in a gym in Gignac. “We had no information, did not see any police force or gendarmerie and when I called the police, I was referred to the firefighters who told me that they ‘were not competent on this issue and it is limited if I did not yelled for having taken the road,’ she told AFP.

In Montpellier, trams traveled with difficulty and flights were interrupted, as in Biarritz. In Pau, many flights have been canceled.

The establishments closed in Montpellier

Due to the red alert, all establishments receiving the public will be closed Thursday in the metropolis of Montpellier: crèches, day care centers, recreation centers, swimming pools, media libraries, houses for all, markets and markets, town halls.

A rare phenomenon on the plains of the former Languedoc-Roussillon, the snow covered the Place de la Comédie and the Peyrou Park in Montpellier, but also the beach of Palavas-les-Flots, the port of Sète, the Paul alleys Riquet de Béziers or the bullring of Nîmes.

In the Gard, the last cars blocked on the A9 by the snow left in the evening the motorway, indicated the prefecture. “Given the climatic conditions, the traffic of semitrailers transporting goods of more than 7.5 tons is prohibited until Thursday 10am on all national and departmental roads,” she said.

Swimmers in Biarritz

In the Bouches-du-Rhône, the A54 was closed at 6pm in both directions between Salon-de-Provence and Saint-Martin-de-Crau.

The east wind was blowing in the evening with violent gusts between 100 and 120 km/h on the coast of the Var and eastern Bouches du Rhône, according to Météo France. It should gradually decrease in the morning of Thursday.

On the Toulouse region, the wind “Autan” reached in the evening 111 km/h in Toulouse-Blagnac, 125km/h in the Lauragais and the region of Castres, according to Meteo France.

In the South-West, the snow episode was also very marked Wednesday morning, especially in the Landes. In Biarritz, bathers had to cross the snowy beach to get into the water. In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, 5 to 10 cm of snow fell by the sea.

The Pilat dune covered with snow

A thin film of snow covered the dune of Pilat, the highest in Europe (110 meters), to the great surprise of tourists: “it’s really super pretty, yesterday we came to discover the dune under the sun and today to see her under the snow, it’s quite unique, “echoed Antoine.

Meteo France is forecasting Thursday spectacular thaw on a large quarter southwest, with 17 ° C expected in Tarbes and Biarritz.

Still according to the forecast service, the night from Tuesday to Wednesday was the coldest of the winter, with minimums lower than -10 ° in Lyon, -12 ° C in Metz.

In the north of France, temperatures will also rise Thursday but will remain quite low, just 1 to 2 ° C Thursday afternoon in Lille, Strasbourg, Mulhouse, temperatures much lower than the normal season.

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