Southeast France thrown into chaos by first heavy snow


Snow, ice and heavy rain has caused power outages to tens of thousands of homes. Authorities urged people to stay off the roads after a motorist was killed by a falling tree.

Heavy snowstorms wreaked havoc across the southeast of France overnight Thursday.

A 63-year-old driver was killed as he tried to remove a fallen tree from the icy roads and another tree fell on him in the commune of Roche. Another man who had helped him was injured.

About 300,000 people were left without electricity in the departments of Drome, Isere, Rhone and Ardeche, power company Enedis said.

Train traffic was expected to be interrupted in and around Grenoble at least until Friday afternoon because of fallen trees on the tracks.

Cars and trucks were left stuck in the snow and many roads were closed across the region. Authorities urged people to avoid the roads.

Up to 20 centimeters of snow at low altitude and up to 30 centimeters (1 foot) are expected to fall above 300 meters, according to France’s Meteo weather service.

The snowfall is expected to stop by Friday night.

cw/rt (AFP, dpa)



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