The mother of all storms!
After another day of wasted effort on my part: I spent a day spraying grass and weedkiller around the stock yard only to have it all washed away in the mother of all storms.
Those pics, and the following is translated from Charente Libre, the local paper. I had to pay a Euro for the benefit of downloading the artcle.
An apocalyptic vision! 1000 hectares of vineyards in the Cognac shredded and Rouillac. Hailstones three cms in size in drifts in much of the Charente. A land that looks like a shroud. Roads turned green with shredded vegetation. Lights broken. Cars damaged. Houses flooded. Roofs blown away. Fleurac, Mérignac, Foussignac, Vaux Rouillac, Rouillac devastated. The storm swept the Charente from west to east between 17:30 and 20:00 yesterday. A storm of unprecedented violence.
"I've never seen that in thirty years. I crossed the courtyard tee-shirt to go to secure the vehicles. It ripped the skin from my arm. The power was impressive. The hail damaged the bonnets of the cars" said Alain Reboul, a wine grower in Fleurac, who has lost its 15 hectares of vines.
He finds himself with five of his colleagues at the Bois-Noble at Fleurac. The facts are bitter. "And the prunings are destroyed. We can do nothing for two years. We must wait for nature to resume its cycle. This is catastrophic" he said, still in shock.
Anger was mixed with dismay. "It's 80 to 90% of our income that has gone. We have already lost everything with diversification. We lose everything with the weather. "The same thoughts come back. There is talk of huge damage not covered by insurance."
Technicien à la Coopérative agricole de la Charente (ACC), Jean-Paul Dupouy attempts to take stock. He puts forward some figures "Six million, just for the vineyard. But there are also oilseed rape, wheat, the barley, sunflowers, which are destroyed."
The specialist had never seen a such vast area, stretching down from St. Cybardeaux touched.
Rofs made in Everite fell to pieces. The Center for adults with disabilities in the Gachère is plunged into darkness. The hairdresser at Marcillac Lanville a foot in the water. The market square at Rouillac green with sheared leaves
"Outside, it is like in January in the snow. On the roads, it is slippery" said a resident who does not believe his eyes.
A house collapses in Soyaux
Having attacked the Cognac, the storm continued its progress towards the south of the department and Angoulême before slipping late in the evening to the east and Charente Limousine. "The hailstones were as big as pigeon eggs. It was an unusual violence between 19.30 and 20:00" said a Rupificaldien. Telephone lines were cut. At Mornac, hail went through the roof. Smashed computers. Glass gave way. Around the church, the flood.
At Touvre, a few hundred meters away, the Montbron road is blocked by a meter of mud The council had to call out the backhoe excavators.
At Soyaux, firefighters broke down a home cut through by lightning at Mimosas Close.The first floor has fallen. The occupants, who were watching television, got out on time.
At Angoulême, La Grand Font tunnel was closed. Floods prohibit access.
At Villebois-Lavalette, residents of the old people's home took refuge on the first floor. There were forty centimeters of water at the ground floor. At Roumazières, the roof of the car dealership collapsed under the hail. The gardens are crushed. "Tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, there's nothing. It has just started to calm down. "It was crazy" said a resident at 22:00.
The storm has flashed into the heart of the night. The stuff of nightmares