Sub-zero temperatures in western Europe were blamed for at least eight deaths and leaving tens of thousands without power in Germany, a day after heavy snowstorms swept through the region.
Police in the French port city of Calais reported that a 58-year-old homeless man was found dead Saturday in a garage where he had taken shelter, and an unidentified man, believed to be from eastern Europe, was found dead in a forest near Melun, outside Paris, by a Sunday hiker, bringing to five the number of weather related deaths in France.
In Belgium, a homeless man in his 40s was found dead outside a church Saturday in Brussels, and another died in hospital after being found suffering from hypothermia in a bus shelter. They were believed to have frozen to death as temperatures plunged and 12 centimetres (four inches) of snow fell.
Another homeless man was found frozen to death under a bridge in a pedestrian area of the German city of Dortmund, local authorities said.
In the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia some 250,000 people faced a power cut over the weekend due to blizzards, electricity giant RWE said.
"The mains had a coating of ice as thick as your upper arm," RWE spokesman Klaus Schultebraucks said.
In the city of Muenster, 4,000 emergency services workers distributed 600 mobile generators to hospitals, retirement homes and shelters.
About 100,000 people regained electricity early Sunday. A company spokeswoman said RWE was confident power could be completely restored by late Sunday if the weather did not take a turn for the worse.
In the western French region of Vendee where some 17,000 households lost power this weekend, about 1,400 homes were still without electricity early Sunday, the French utility EDF said.
The wave of cold and snow over the past few days hit every region of France, even normally mild southern provinces such as Provence, the country's weather service said.
A level 2 state of emergency was declared in 44 French regions, meaning that they must offer more shelter beds for the homeless, step up patrols by social workers and open places of refuge for those who refuse to go into shelters.
In Brussels, also, city authorities opened 1,000 beds in shelters.
As for Paris, "you'd have to go back to 1993 to find snow on the ground" in November, said Patrick Galois, a French weather forecaster.
While temperatures over the weekend did not set a new seasonal record, they were a sharp drop from the mild temperatures at the end of October, Galois said.
In Paris, temperatures went from 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit) on October 30-31 to below zero this weekend.
Saturday's snowfall hampered transportation in Belgium, Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
The two airports in Paris -- Charles de Gaulle and Orly -- reported a return to normal operations by late Saturday after flights had been delayed during the day. Some 60 flights were cancelled Saturday out of Charles de Gaulle airport, none out of Orly.