Storm Eleanor — also known as Burglind — batters Europe | News | DW | 03.01.2018
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Storm Eleanor — also known as Burglind — batters Europe

Winter storm Eleanor has caused traffic chaos and at least two fatalities as it slammed western Europe. Hundreds of flights were grounded and gale-force winds blew a train car in Switzerland off its tracks.

A winter storm in Europe on Wednesday left in its wake several dead, untold property damage and traffic chaos as the gale, alternatively dubbed Eleanor and Burglind, barreled across the continent after slamming Ireland and the UK.

At least one person was killed in the French Alps and another in the Netherlands from falling debris, while in Switzerland an entire train car was blown off the tracks by the 75 miles per hour (120 kph) winds that swept through the country.

"I've never seen anything like it," a spokesman for the Montreux-Bernese Oberland (MOB) regional train service said.

Hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled at the continent's three busiest airports — Paris's Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam Schiphol and Frankfurt International Airport.

Belgium and Spain raised the alert level on their weather warning systems, while ski resorts closed their slopes and hikers were cautioned to stay home due to falling branches.

In Ireland, 27,000 homes and offices remained without power, while the streets in Galway flooded after tides overwhelmed the city's sea defenses. London closed its Thames Barrier, one of the largest such barricades in the world, to protect the city from the rising water.

Later on Wednesday Eleanor, the fourth major storm to hit Europe since December, descended onto the French island of Corsica, with gusts expected to reach up to 125 mph (200 kph).

es/rc (AFP, Reuters)

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