Sapeurs-pompiers des Vosges

Sapeurs-pompiers des Vosges
A French town has been hit by a freak hailstorm that left locals clearing drifts of ice in the streets with shovels and snow ploughs.

The hail struck the town of Plombières-les-Bains in the Vosges mountains on Tuesday morning.

Romain Munier, head of communications for the local emergency services, told French media: "There were up to 60 centimetres of accumulated hail" while in the wider area, "up to 10 millimetres of water accumulated in six minutes".

Locals were pictured clearing the street of ice with shovels and snow ploughs after the storm passed and the fire and rescue crews for the Vosges area said they had received 56 callouts in total.




Large areas of France are on weather alert for storms until Thursday, as a 'cold drop' passes over the country leading to extremely unsettled weather.


In most areas, however, the storms will be confined to heavy rain and thunder.

In neighbouring Switzerland, the Swiss news agency ATS reported giant hailstones up to seven centimetres wide in the canton of Lucerne.

In the canton of Fribourg, the police and fire brigade were called 300 times, including to rescue a class of 16 children and two adults caught in the hail.

Six of the children and one adult were taken to hospital.

At least five people were injured in the German-speaking Swiss cantons, including a cyclist who suffered head injuries from hailstones, according to ATS, whilst in Germany severe flooding has hit parts of the country including Stuttgart.