Thousands were left without electricity and planes were delayed or forced to re-route Sunday as storm Bella caused torrential rain and heavy winds in much of northern France.

Some 12,000 households suffered power cuts in Brittany and Normandy in northern France and up to 6,000 around the Calais region. Power company Enedis said normal electricity supplies should be restored on Sunday evening.

Over a third of flights from France's main airport of Charles de Gaulle north of Paris suffered delays of an average of 50 minutes due to the storm, the airport operator said.

Three flights heading to the airport were re-routed to Paris Orly airport south of Paris, while an Aeroflot flight landed in Amsterdam and a plane heading from Luxemburg turned back.

A top flight rugby clash between Pau and Stade Francais scheduled for the afternoon was delayed by three hours after the storm prevented the Paris-based team from taking off.

The winds and rains were due to abate in some areas by the late afternoon but heavy show was forecast on higher ground in the south of the country heading into Monday.

Similar troubles were seen in the south of England where winds reaching 170 kilometres (105 miles) an hour were recorded on the Isle of Wight overnight Saturday to Sunday.

Meanwhile some 20,000 households in Wales had their electricity cut while delays were also seen on railways due to trees falling on the line.