More storms in Europe cause havoc
January 4, 1998
Web posted at: 3:41 p.m. EST (2041 GMT)
(CNN) -- Renewed gale force winds lashed parts of France and
Britain on Sunday, following heavy storms that already cost
the lives of several people.
Winds of up to 160 kilometers per hours wreaked
havoc in southern England and Wales Sunday, causing power
outages, uprooting trees and damaging homes.
Electricity to more than 60,000 households was cut off,
Walkers and motorists were advised to stay away from the
danger zone along the shores pounded by huge waves. Gale
force 11 winds also battered the coasts of Kent and
The storm, accompanied by heavy rainfall, uprooted trees and
lifted roofs off houses, especially in Wales and Devon.
Rivers swelled by the rainfall burst their banks and swept
away parked cars.
Rescue teams were trying to save the crew of a Spanish
fishing vessel in turbulent seas off southern England. One
rescue helicopter dropped two life rafts but bad weather
forced it to return to base, rescue workers said.
Coast guards in the port of Falmouth said the trawler Sonia
Naci had lost power and its engine room was flooding.
In France, authorities banned motorists and pedestrians from
some coastal areas on Sunday as storms battered the western
shore and cut off islands.
Among areas worst hit was the Quiberon peninsula in southern
Brittany where waves up to 10 meters (30 feet) high and winds
up to 180 kph (110 mph) were expected, French television
At least 600 tourists were stranded on Ushant and Molene
islands, where food supplies were said to be running low in
It was the third day running that severe storms had lashed
western France. Authorities said three rescue workers were
injured late on Saturday when a tree fell on their field
headquarters tent. Three people were killed in road accidents
caused by the weather on Friday.
Belgium was also bracing itself for a second powerful storm
Sunday and emergency services in coastal areas were on alert
in light of forecasts warning of winds of up to 130 kph (80
mph). Storms on Saturday uprooted trees, damaged houses and
disrupted power lines.
German police reported one storm-related death on Saturday,
when a 16-year-old youth died near Stuttgart after his
motorcycle crashed into a tree that had been felled across
the street by the storm.