Stationary trains, power outages… Lots of damage in the West
Trees fell on cars, tens of thousands of homes without power, trains stopped, race boats damaged… The currently raging Hurricane Gérard has caused a lot of disruption, especially in the North West of France where winds reach up to 160 km/h. Météo France has also placed 23 departments on orange alert for strong winds this Monday, January 16, 2023.
75,000 homes without electricity
Normandy and Brittany, more particularly the departments of Finistère, Manche and Calvados, suffered the brunt of Eole’s anger, which resulted, on both coast and inland, several “undesirable events associated with storms.
In the West, 75,000 customers were without power this morning, particularly in Normandy, Brittany and Pays de la Loire, where 13,000 customers were affected, Enedis announced on Monday. The balance sheet was revised up in the morning since 90,000 customers were declared without power Monday at 11 a.m., including two-thirds in the West, according to network manager Enedis.
Most of the cuts, which also affect the Center, concern Normandy, Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Poitou-Charentes, according to a spokeswoman for Enedis, who noted that “the situation is continuing to evolve”.
In total, 1,650 network management employees and 500 service providers were deployed to restore electricity. Employees from Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Poitou-Charentes will arrive as reinforcements in Normandy.
Inland, the winds were also blowing, with speeds of over 100 km/h in Mayenne and more than 90 km/h in Maine-et-Loire, with 3,900 homes without power this Monday morning.
Also read: Winds, fallen trees, firefighters intervened… Hurricane Gérard hit the Loire-Atlantique
Train traffic was disrupted
In Normandy, many fallen trees and strong winds also prompted SNCF to stop the circulation of its first train this Monday on the Cherbourg-Caen-Evreux, Caen-Rouen, Le Havre-Rouen, Caen-Le Mans, Caen-Rennes, Granville-Dreux, Fecamp- Le Havre-Rolleville.
After reconnaissance patrols in lanes, traffic should proceed quietly if conditions permit.
In Pays de la Loire, traffic disruptions have also been announced on the TER Nantes-Pornic and Nantes-Saint-Gilles lines due to a tree falling on the tracks. Resumption of connections is expected around 12 noon.
In Brittany, TER traffic was disrupted this morning on the route from Saint-Malo to Brest. The resumption of traffic was announced at 14:00.
Normandy and Brittany, as expected, experienced the strongest gusts, with a record of 158 km/h recorded at Pointe du Raz, in Finistère and 159 km/h at Carteret, in the Channel. And, inevitably, the consequences are felt even in a land where traffic is complicated on wind-pounded roads.
Beyond the complications reported on the A84 motorway, branches were thrown onto the road at Noyers-Bocage, at the Vire exit, as well as at the N158 at Grainville-Langannerie (four Caen-Falaise lanes).
La Manche and Cherbourg were the hardest hit
The English Channel, which is rarely spared from gusts, also paid tribute to Hurricane Gérard, as 140 interventions were recorded on the Normandy peninsula alone. Fallen branches, broken power lines on public highways, objects in danger of falling, tiles flying… In just 45 minutes, between 5:45 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., firefighters recorded 35 interventions this Monday morning.
The most impressive images, to date, were from Cherbourg (Manche), where winds up to 122 km/h off the Hague end damaged several racing boats near the port of Chantereyne. “Significant damage to the sides of the ships in dry dock, which fell like dominoes, in particular three Class 40 ships, including the Normand Marc Lepesqueux”report our colleague fromWest France in Cherbourg.
Also read: IN THE PICTURE, IN THE PICTURE. Hurricane Gérard: trees down, boats cut… Damage in the English Channel
Also in Cherbourg, numerous trees, uprooted under the influence of successive gusts of wind, and from the ground weakened by the overflowing water, fell on sidewalks and boulevards, cutting off several axis of the city to traffic. .
In the Loire-Atlantique, a retired couple was probably terrified when they were awakened at four in the morning by a pine tree in a neighbor’s garden that had collapsed on their roof, tearing apart their home. For now, there are no lamentable casualties to our knowledge, but a final judgment is of course far from certain.