Winter storms wreak havoc in Europe, US

A commuter in New York all bundled up for the cold. The eastern US, now in the grip of a cold snap, will see freezing rain, snow and strong winds.
A commuter in New York all bundled up for the cold. The eastern US, now in the grip of a cold snap, will see freezing rain, snow and strong winds.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

GALWAY/NEW YORK • Winter storms wreaked havoc in Europe and the United States yesterday, cutting power across large areas.

Storm Eleanor cut power to 200,000 households in northern France, while 27,000 were still without electricity in Ireland yesterday.

The storm was set to move to other regions in France throughout the day, electricity grid company Enedis said yesterday.

Households in the Normandy region were the worst hit, said Enedis, a unit of the state-controlled Electricite de France.

The area around Paris, and north-eastern Picardie and Champagne-Ardenne were also among places affected.

The latest weather warnings and strong winds come after winter storm Carmen battered western France on New Year's Day, with about 40,000 homes in the Brittany region temporarily losing power on Monday.

Meanwhile, on Ireland's west coast, homes and businesses suffered flood damage after Eleanor brought heavy rain and winds of up to 155kmh.

Massive waves and high winds linked to Storm Eleanor battering a lighthouse and sea wall in Porthcawl, Wales. In Ireland, Eleanor brought heavy rain and winds of up to 155kmh on Tuesday and caused flood damage.
Massive waves and high winds linked to Storm Eleanor battering a lighthouse and sea wall in Porthcawl, Wales. In Ireland, Eleanor brought heavy rain and winds of up to 155kmh on Tuesday and caused flood damage. PHOTO: REUTERS

  • 200,000 Number of households without electricity in northern France due to Storm Eleanor.


    27,000 Number of households without electricity in Ireland yesterday.

PERILOUS

Travel will be dangerous and nearly impossible, including during the morning commute on Wednesday.

FLORIDA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE , in an advisory for north-eastern Florida.

The storm hit Ireland's fourth-largest city Galway especially hard, as high tides late on Tuesday forced road closures and wreaked havoc for shop owners.

Ireland's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) said about 150,000 homes and business were without electricity at one stage on Tuesday.

ESB operations manager Derek Hynes, speaking to national broadcaster RTE, said: "We're really hopeful, given that it's the last week of a lot of people's Christmas holidays, that we will have power back to pretty much everybody by tonight."

The weather service Met Eireann's second-highest level of alert remained in place for the west and north-west of the country.

The agency said a combination of high tides and exceptionally high seas would result in coastal damage and further flooding.

In the United States, the south-east is bracing itself as a separate storm is poised to batter the New England coast.

The eastern US, already in the grip of a record-shattering cold snap, will be seeing freezing rain, snow and strong winds.

The winter weather, along with low wind chills, could cause widespread power outages and ice over roadways, making commuting treacherous for millions of Americans from northern Florida to southern Virginia, the National Weather Service said in a series of warnings.

"Travel will be dangerous and nearly impossible, including during the morning commute on Wednesday," the service said in an advisory for north-eastern Florida.

Eastern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia will get as much as 15cm of snow, along with an accumulation of ice. Parts of New England could see 30cm to 38cm of snow and wind gusts of about 55kmh by the end of week, the service said.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for 28 counties after the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning.

On the same day, Florida Governor Rick Scott urged residents in the northern part of the state to prepare for the cold snap. Cold weather shelters are being provided in 22 of the state's 67 counties.

As the storm bears down, an arctic air mass will remain entrenched over the eastern two-thirds of the country through the end of the week.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2018, with the headline 'Winter storms wreak havoc in Europe, US'. Print Edition | Subscribe