Thousands without power, planes delayed as storm Bella lashes France

Tens of thousands were left without electricity and planes were delayed or forced to re-route Sunday as storm Bella caused torrential rain and heavy winds in much of France.

Brittany and Normandy in the north and west of France were the first regions to suffer power cuts, but “18,000 households were reconnected” later on Sunday, said power company Enedis.

However, some 34,000 households in the east and centre of France were still without power as the storm made its way across the country.

Over a third of flights from France’s main airport of Charles de Gaulle north of Paris had suffered delays of an average of 50 minutes due to the storm.

However, airport operator ADP said “air traffic has now returned to normal”.

Three flights heading to the airport were re-routed to Paris Orly airport south of Paris, while an Aeroflot flight landed in Amsterdam and a plane heading from Luxemburg turned back.

A top flight rugby clash between Pau and Stade Francais scheduled for the afternoon was delayed by three hours after the storm prevented the Paris-based team from taking off.

The winds and rains abated in some areas by the late afternoon, but heavy snow was forecast on higher ground in the south of the country heading into Monday.

Similar troubles were seen in the south of England where winds reaching 170 kilometres (105 miles) an hour were recorded on the Isle of Wight overnight Saturday to Sunday.

Meanwhile some 20,000 households in Wales had their electricity cut while delays were also seen on railways due to trees falling on the line.

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