Tales of lucky escapes amid Europe's storm and wind damage

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The scene might have been mistaken for tornado damage in the American mid-west – but this was Brittany in north-west France.

The front of a large house had been ripped away, exposing the three storeys inside to the elements. The house n Quimperlé had collapsed after floodwater weakened the foundations.

It was empty at the time, but anxious rescue workers spent hours searching for the home owner before he was found safe and well, spending Christmas elsewhere.

Many parts of Europe have been suffering the aftermath of storms and flooding.

At Sennecey-le-Grand in eastern France, the roof of a school was literally torn off by the wind, slamming into a nearby house.

Again no-one was hurt.

“From the window, I saw a large piece of sheet metal heading directly towards the house. I thought it was a plane, we were afraid, there was lots of noise. Then we realised it was the roof of the school opposite,” said a woman who lives in the house.

Strong winds swept through Poland’s Tatra mountains, causing considerable damage.

The resort of Zakopane suffered a power blackout for several hours. Roads were blocked, cutting off access to nearby valleys and dozens of roofs were torn off buildings.

In Britain at least five people have been reported killed in two days of storms.

Surrey in southeast England has experienced some of the worst flooding after rivers burst their banks.

Thousands of people deprived of electricity were told they were likely to remain without power overnight.

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