About forty French departments were placed on Tuesday, vigilant in the approach of the storm Gabriel. Snowy episodes and strong winds have crossed France, depriving some homes of power.

The storm Gabriel continues to sweep France, Wednesday, January 30, causing traffic restrictions and calls for caution. Wind, snow and power cuts: the phenomenon should continue until Thursday midnight, according to Météo France.

Fifteen departments, against 43 at the beginning of the storm, were still placed in orange vigil “snow-ice” in the north of the country, to which is added the Aveyron, in the South

Around midnight, Gabriel was above Burgundy and continued eastward, according to Météo-France. “Moderate” snowfalls are reported from the Ile-de-France to Haute-Normandie and the Hauts de France, and Champagne to Burgundy, as well as to the south of the Massif Central.

The snow episode is declining on the western regions, adds the forecaster, which generally falls from 3 to 5 cm of snow in plain, and locally up to 10 cm above 500 m of altitude on these regions.

In the South-West, 20,000 customers were without electricity, including 5,000 in Charente-Maritime and 3,000 in the Gironde, according to Enedis. In the Landes, where wind gusts reached 110 km / h, 500 households were without electricity.

Several berths on the Gironde estuary were interrupted, flights were canceled at Biarritz airport, the Noirmoutier bridge was closed to traffic and Nantes closed all its parks and public gardens.

In the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, traffic restrictions, such as the speed limit at 80 km / h or the prohibition of overtaking heavy goods vehicles, were lifted, according to the prefecture.

Violent winds

No more departments were vigilant “violent winds” in the night. Tuesday, gusts of the order of 120 to 134 km / h were recorded on the Atlantic coast: 132 km / h at Pointe du Raz (Finistère), Cap-Ferret (Gironde) and Saint-Clément des Baleines (Ile de Ré), and even 134 km / h in Messanges (Landes).

In departments in orange vigilance, accumulations of 5 to 10 cm are expected, even 15 cm locally. “In the end, we must expect tomorrow morning (Wednesday) to a layer of heavy snow from 5 to 10 cm including the Ile-de-France,” said François Jobard, forecaster of Météo-France, referring a “sticky” snow and a “more intense” episode than last week.

Faced with this new snowy episode, the Minister of Transport Elisabeth Borne called the motorists “with the greatest caution”, and to avoid running from the early evening Tuesday to Wednesday morning included.

In addition to salting and snow removal operations, traffic restrictions have been announced.

Canceled flights

Thus, the famous RN 118 which connects Les Ulis (Essonne) to the south-west of Paris, where 2 000 people had been blocked by the snow in February 2017, is closed since Tuesday at 3 pm and at least until Wednesday morning .

The circulation of heavy goods vehicles is prohibited or limited in several regions, and school transport will be suspended Wednesday especially in the region of Hauts-de-France, Burgundy and the departments of the Greater Paris area (Essonne, Seine-et- Marne, Val d’Oise).

In the air, twenty flights had to be canceled after 20 pm Tuesday at Paris-Orly airport, and on track, the SNCF has activated its cold weather plan, as the RATP in Paris.

The Federation of Solidarity Actors (FAS) recalled that “thousands of homeless people, isolated or with family, are in danger, for lack of available accommodation”.

Cold weather plan

Tuesday, the prefecture of Ile-de-France announced the opening in its premises of a night stop open from 19:00 to 08:00. About thirty women, directed by the 115, will be welcomed within premises of the prefecture located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.

“The State has opened 573 Great Cold seats in Ile-de-France over the past few days, with a total of 5,906 additional places open since November 1, including 2,938 in Paris in the winter period,” he added. the prefecture in a statement.

Elsewhere, “the situation is also very tense in other large cities where 115 teams are overwhelmed and have no solution to offer people”, alarmed the FAS.

At the same time across the Atlantic, several million people in the Midwest, in the United States, are facing a historic cold snap. They were preparing to brave freezing temperatures on Wednesday, down to -50 degrees Celsius felt, causing school closures, mail delivery suspensions or disruptions in air traffic.