Snow, Ice Hit French Alps, Strand 15K on Roads
At least 1 driver dead in wintry mess
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2014 8:09 AM CST
In this 2011 file photo, the French Alps, near Chamonix. Snow and ice in the region have stranded some 15,000 vehicles.   (AP Photo/David Azia,File)

(Newser) – A white Christmas may have proven elusive Stateside, but a burst of snow and ice in the French Alps have stranded some 15,000 vehicles, reports the BBC, prompting Paris to issue its second-highest weather alert and urge drivers to "exercise the utmost caution." One driver died after his car slid off into a ravine, and travelers were scrambling to find shelter with the bad weather expected to extend into today. Complicating matters: The holidays and the tourists who flood the region. "The police should have got people to fit chains this morning after [20 inches] of snow fell last night," one Brit tells the BBC.