Wednesday, September 14, 2016

120,000 families without power

Sept. 14, 2016

ABOUT 120,000 households from the Pyrénées to the Channel woke to find they had no electricity this morning after violent storms along the Atlantic coast saw 70,000 lightning strikes in just three hours.

Winds of up to 101kph [63mph] hit the coast at Biscarosse in Landes – even reaching 111kph further inland at Houga in Gers – and storms dropped three centimetres of rain in an hour on parts of Pyrénées-Atlantiques.


Power lines were knocked out in a large area from the Atlantic coast as far east as Dordogne and Aude and about 20,000 households were left without power after a fire in a sub-station at Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

Firefighters were called out hundreds of times for flooded cellars, fires started by lightning and fallen trees and power cables.


The storms came after record high temperatures in central and northern France with 35.3C [95.5F} at Montluçon in Allier and 31.9C in Calais and the driest summer since 1959.


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