January 3, 2018 / 9:51 AM / a year ago

Storm cuts power to thousands of homes in France, one dead

Waves break on the Brittany coast as storm Eleanor approaches Esquibien, France, January 2, 2018. REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

PARIS (Reuters) - One man died on a ski slope and at least 26 were injured across France on Wednesday in a storm that cut power to tens of thousands of homes, local authorities said.

Emergency services said the skier was killed when a tree fell on him.

Storm Eleanor, with winds of more than 140 kph, also fanned least three forest fires in Corsica and forced officials to suspend ferry lines between the island and mainland France.

One of the fires surrounded a village of about 60 houses, emergency services said.

Households in the eastern regions of Alsace, Franche-Comte and Lorraine were among the worst hit by the power cuts, Enedis, a unit of state-controlled EDF, said. The area around Paris, northeastern Picardie and Champagne-Ardenne were also affected.

The storm initially cut power to 225,000 households. Many had their electricity restored during the day but around 35,000 were still waiting in the evening, Enedis said.

Winter storm Carmen battered western France on Jan. 1, with some 40,000 households in the Brittany region temporarily losing power on Monday.

Reporting by Sarah White, Simon Carraud, Ingrid Melander; Editing by Alison Williams

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