High Winds, Rain Lash U.K., France

October 30, 2000

In scenes reminiscent of last years deadly storms winds over 100 mph battered southern England Sunday night, downing trees and ripping the roofs off houses before moving across the channel to northern France with undiminished fury.

Accompanied by heavy rains and creating tornado like cyclones with winds over 150 mph the storm has caused widespread damage, downing power lines and halting rail and road transportation. A BBC report said the intensity of the storm reached the level of 1987’s tempest which ravaged the U.K. causing widespread damage.

In France, where the full brunt of the storm was expected to hit the Paris region by late morning, downed trees blocked the A13 autoroute, one of the main arteries into Paris from the West, causing a monumental traffic jam. French radio warned listeners to stay indoors until the storm had passed.

While not as intense as last year’s storms, which caused an estimated $6 billion in insured losses, a significant amount of damage is expected.

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