'Zombie' Hurricane Leslie bears down on Portugal, Spain

'Zombie' Hurricane Leslie bears down on Portugal, Spain

Authorities had urged people to stay indoors and keep away from coastal areas.

More than 300,000 homes have lost power, the commander at the Civil Protection Agency said.

The storm, carrying winds of up 130km/h, was most intense during the night.

One of the worst hit areas was the coastal city of Figueira da Foz. "People were very anxious".

Storms packing almost 180 kilometres-per-hour winds hit Portugal early Sunday leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power before carrying heavy rain on into Spain, authorities said. The hospital was evacuating 130 patients as it faced challenges of running on generators after the storm knocked out power, ripped off part of its roof and smashed windows, a spokesman for the hospital's owner HCA Healthcare said in an email.

Authorities said a falling tree killed a man outside Tallahassee, Florida, and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia was killed when the winds picked up a carport and dropped it on her home. Emergency services issued flood warnings for the north and northwest of the country for Sunday afternoon and evening, advising Spaniards to avoid driving in the storm.

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Parts of southern France have also been put on alert for storms and flooding.

Leslie - which was downgraded to a tropical storm before it made landfall - is unusual since hurricanes that regularly batter the American side of the Atlantic rarely bring their destructive force across to Europe.

It was hovering over the Atlantic for so long because it didn't encounter a strong enough weather system to force it towards land, according to Accuweather.

It is rare for an Atlantic hurricane to reach the Iberian Peninsula, and it is thought this could be the most powerful to hit Portugal since 1842.

The last tropical system to follow in Leslie's path was Vince in 2005.

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