Chamonix storm & strong winds cause havocGusts with gusto turn Chamonix upside down
The official weather warning came on Saturday morning that strong winds would be present throughout the Chamonix valley over the weekend - the gale force winds caused widespread damage in Chamonix but fortunately no-one was injured.
At the peak of the Chamonix storm on Saturday night Chamonix valley was plunged into darkness with a power cut that, for some, lasted well into Sunday. During the storm wind speeds of 180 km/h were recorded on anemometers in Chamonix.
Traffic was held up and drivers were advised not to not to travel up the Egratz viaduct from Sallanches to Chamonix. The Mont Blanc tunnel was closed due to fallen trees on the access road to the tunnel and a 20,000 volt electrical cable serving the Aiguille du Midi cable car that had been torn away had fallen near the entrance to the Mont Blanc tunnel.
Roofs (with chimney stacks still attached) were ripped off homes and off public buildings, the Chamonix ice rink and the indoor climbing wall were both particularly effected.
A huge number of trees were uprooted and snapped in half blocking roads around Chamonix and crippling cars.
A large forest area on the Blatieres side of the valley was largely flattened by the wind coming down from the Mont Blanc. The debris in the air caused numerous windows to be smashed and houses damaged.
The emergency services were on call for at least 24 hours with over 300 call-outs and now the local services are on a major mission to clear up the mess that the Chamonix storm left behind.