Anyone know what region of France that Francis lives? His last post here was about 12 hours ago.
Hope your power isn't out, Francis!
15 reported dead in European storm
Published: Jan. 24, 2009 at 8:22 PM
BORDEAUX, France, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A storm generating hurricane-force winds punished France and Spain Saturday, killing at least 15 people, authorities said.
Local officials said the roof of a sports facility in Sant Boi de Llobregat, near Barcelona, Spain, came down, killing four children, the BBC reported. Twenty to 30 children had gathered to play baseball and had dashed inside the concrete and corrugated metal structure shortly before the collapse occurred.
The storm claimed 11 other lives in separate incidents in Spain and southwestern France, the British network said.
Winds up to 107 mph made the Atlantic storm the worst in the region since one that killed 88 people in December 1999.
Power was lost in 1.5 million French homes and tens of thousands more in Spain. Airports canceled flights and train schedules were disrupted, the BBC said.
The victims in France included a driver hit by a falling tree, a man killed by flying debris, a man crushed by a tree and a woman who died when she lost power to her breathing machine.
Other Spanish victims included a woman crushed by a door, a woman and a man killed in separate incidents involving falling walls, a park employee and a police officer killed by falling trees, a sailor on a cargo ship, and another man of unspecified causes.
Hardest hit was the area between Bordeaux and the Spanish border, which was struck late Friday before the storms moved inland overnight. Roads and railway lines in the area were blocked by fallen trees and residents were warned to stay indoors.
"I looked out of my kitchen's skylight window to see scaffolding and sheets or corrugated iron blowing of the adjacent cathedral," one witness, Simon Ritchie, told the BBC. "One such sheet blew about 50 yards from the tower and landed on a car below, smashing it in completely.
"People were screaming on the street below, and bits of masonry and scaffolding continued to fall."