Storm Eleanor: Heavy rain, floods cause damage on Ireland's west coast

Storm Eleanor: Heavy rain, floods cause damage on Ireland's west coast

Storm Eleanor: Heavy rain, floods cause damage on Ireland's west coast

Updated 4 January 2018, 13:10 AEDT

A Swiss train is blown off its tracks, parts of Ireland are flooded, the Eiffel Tower is closed and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses are blacked out as Storm Eleanor brings heavy rain and winds.

Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses, from Ireland's west coast to France, have been left without power as Storm Eleanor brings heavy rain and winds of up to 155 kilometres per hour.

Key Points:

  • The storm caused flooding in Ireland and forced the closure of France's Eiffel Tower
  • The second-highest level of alert remains in place for the west and north-west of Ireland
  • A wind speed of 147kph was recorded in Cambrai, northern France

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

In Switzerland, gusting winds blew a train off its tracks, injuring eight people, while a skier was killed by a falling tree in France.

The Eiffel Tower was closed and flights to and from France were delayed as the storm made its way east into continental Europe.

Ireland's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) said at one stage, 150,000 homes and business were without electricity. By late morning on Wednesday, all but 27,000 had power restored.

"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," Derek Hynes, operations manager for ESB, told national broadcaster RTE.

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

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

Later, high winds forced the closure of the Eiffel Tower in Paris as Eleanor battered northern France, leaving 200,000 homes without electricity.

Flights were delayed from Charles de Gaulle airport, north of the capital, and on one road scaffolding collapsed on parked cars.

Weather authority Meteo France said a record wind speed of 147 kph was recorded in the northern city of Cambrai and it placed 49 of France's 101 departments on orange alert due to the weather, advising people to limit travel and look out for falling objects.

Households in France's Normandy region have also been hit by Eleanor, electricity grid company Enedis said.

The area around Paris and north-eastern Picardie and Champagne-Ardenne are also among those affected.

Three people died in October when Tropical Storm Ophelia battered every corner of Ireland, bringing down trees and power lines and whipping up 10-metre waves.

Reuters