LONDON - Europe braced itself Saturday for a weekend of travel chaos as a cold snap covered parts of the continent in a pre-Christmas blanket of snow.
Eurostar traffic between Paris and London has been suspended until noon Saturday because of the snow, the company announced, after 2,000 people spent the night blocked in trains in the Channel Tunnel.
The bad weather affected the continent from Britain to the Black Sea, hitting airports, roads and railways, shutting schools and affecting power supplies.
, the winter snows caused major disruption in Paris, with flights delayed at Charles de Gaulle
and Orly airports
, airline officials said.
French meteorologists warned of more snow and ice over the weekend for most of northern France, the French Alps and the Mediterreanean island of Corsica.
Authorities said one homeless man in Val-de-Marne, near Paris, died from hypothermia, while another in Chateauroux, central France, had also likely died from the cold.
The inclement weather also forced France's high-speed TGV trains to travel at slower speeds, causing delays.
In Britain, some 1,500 schools were closed Friday, affecting more than 500,000 children. Meanwhile around 3,000 homes in northwest England were left without power. Several roads were closed, while rail travellers also faced heavy delays.
A couple in Kent, southeast England, managed to get married Friday despite the snow after calls to a local radio station saw a string of volunteers with four-wheel drive vehicles transporting their 40 guests to the ceremony.
"When all these people started pulling together and we realised we could get married, it was just unbelievable. It was a dream come true," bride Karen Rawlins said.
The cold snap took its toll on sporting fixtures in Britain, with Friday's rugby union European Cup match between Wales' Newport Gwent Dragons and French side Biarritz moved to Saturday in nearby Llanelli due to a frozen pitch.
Three Football League games were called off, with several more Saturday fixtures facing pitch inspections.
Officials at Ascot abandoned Saturday's high-profile race meeting after the course west of London was hit with up to 10 centimetres (four inches) of snow.
Romania was also hit by a thick blanket of snow that caused major transport problems and led to power blackouts in some areas of the southeastern European country.
Most flights from Bucharest airport were delayed, some by as much as two and a half hours, and many train services from the capital were cancelled.
In Belgium, dozens of flights were cancelled at Brussels international airport after snow falls and ice on runways. Around 30 outbound flights and 70 incoming flights were cancelled, while dozens more were flagged with delays.