DEFORESTATION STORMS, France. Trees uprooted by high winds, woodland razed to the ground, forest devastated by storms and hurricanes, France. In the Great storm. A mixture of very dry weather followed by heavy rains caused the root systems to be weakly anchored to the ground. High velocity winds tore up millions of trees across Europe. Hundreds of million of tons of timber flooded the market. Controversy surrounds whether forests should be managed or left to recover by nature's way.