Thunderstorms: Many Damages Caused by Wind and Hail, 11 Departments in Orange Alert

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Thunderstorms: many damages caused by wind and hail, 11 departments in orange alert

11 departments of the south-east of France are placed in orange alert with the storms Tuesday 2nd July 2019, after a very agitated night which did not make a victim.

Several departments in the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes were swept Monday 1 st July 2019 in the evening by a new episode of thunderstorms with strong winds and hail caused damage and power cuts but made no victim.

The bulk of the storm, which hit the six departments and particularly hit the Alps, ended around midnight. Five departments were still placed in orange vigilance by Météo France on Tuesday morning: Cantal, Haute-Loire, Lozère, Ardèche and Gard, joined by six new this afternoon at 16h: the Ain, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Isère, Savoy and Haute-Savoie.

Tuesday morning, 49,000 customers in the Alps were deprived of electricity at 7am, according to Enedis, which recorded this night up to 100,000 cuts in Isere, Savoie and Haute-Savoie.

Previous storms, as violent as they were brief, accompanied by hail and heavy gusts, had already affected the region on June 15. A German tourist had died and major damage had particularly affected farms for a bill that should amount to tens of millions of euros.

This time, the firefighters intervened in the night in several Alpine departments for trees fallen on the roads and torn roofs. The prefecture of Isere reported 150 operations, the Prefecture of Savoie 120.

Apart from a person seriously injured by the fall of a tree on his motorhome in Haute-Savoie, the storms caused only minor injuries, for falling branches or cuts due to explosions of windows.

In Doussard, however, in Haute-Savoie, the roof of the village hall fell partially during a rock concert attended by 200 people. The spectators are unscathed, the roof has gradually detached.

In addition, 43 people on a cruise ship on Lake Annecy were rescued by other boats at midnight, their boat being immobilized 100 meters from the shore after a shock with the bottom caused by the waves.

In Isère, Ben Harper’s concert at the Jazz à Vienne festival was cancelled.

Very disturbed railway traffic

In the same department, two TGVs were blocked for a long time with several hundred passengers on board in the stations of Saint-André-Le Gaz and Bourgoin-Jallieu, before leaving again. But the falls forced the SNCF to stop a TGV Paris-Grenoble to Lyon-Saint-Exupéry, where 182 passengers were forced to spend the night, crammed aboard for lack of sufficient hotel capacity around.

The train left around 7am but had to be diverted to the TGV-Valence station to reach Grenoble, according to a passenger joined by AFP who said he was “exhausted” by these long hours of waiting.

SNCF hopes to be able to fully restore the Lyon-Grenoble direct line around noon, but rail traffic remains completely paralyzed between Chambéry and Grenoble, where many trees have fallen on the tracks. SNCF is planning several days of cuts.

No train will circulate Tuesday also between Annecy and Aix-les-Bains and between Albertville and Bourg-Saint-Maurice.

The rest of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region was not spared.

In the Loire, a campsite was evacuated in Saint-Pierre-de-Boeuf, reported firefighters, who carried out nearly 300 interventions following floods, falling trees and damage caused by hail.

In Villars, firefighters also had to intervene to extract two passengers slightly injured by the fall of a tree on their car.

In the Rhone, lightning caused the fire of a house by striking his photovoltaic device, without making any injuries, said, firefighters.

In the Puy-de-Dôme, heavy hail storms also forced firefighters to roof damaged roofs, according to the prefecture.

Meteo France has classified the Cantal, Haute-Loire, Lozère, Ardèche and Gard in orange vigilance because of the risk of violent thunderstorms on Tuesday afternoon.

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