More than 2,000 vehicles were trapped on French roads overnight and 195,000 homes went without power as snow and ice paralysed central France.
The snowfall was heaviest in the Massif Central mountain range, leading to 1,250 lorries and 200 cars blocked in traffic jams Tuesday morning, according to the gendarmerie.
Officials said that 1,100 people were placed in emergency accommodation and provided food in the Haute-Loire and Loire départements.
But many were forced to spend the night in their vehicles, with motorists slamming what they called “a lack of humanity” from the emergency services, whom they accused of being unprepared despite the weather forecasts.
Aerial view shows trucks blocked in the snow on the RN 88 today near Firminy, in the Loire department of central eastern France. Jo pic.twitter.com/1O2YthAdA3
— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) October 30, 2018
WOW… some snow at elevation from Saint-Martin-en-Haut, France last night 30th October. Over 20cm of snow reported. Video; @Meteovilles #severeweather #ExtremeWeather #snowfall pic.twitter.com/YkdfKT9jyY
— WEATHER/ METEO WORLD (@StormchaserUKEU) October 30, 2018
Early season snow and freezing conditions have hit much of Europe this week, with 10 people dying from weather-related causes in Italy alone.
The Modern Maximum is over, welcome to the Grand Solar Minimum.