Reports are filtering in from Leran as they get their power back. Here's what Julian has to say about the event. (I told Julian some time ago that here in Utah the word "picture" is pronounced "pitcher" and he has picked it up like he's a native.) Julian and Gwenda live across the street from the village church, which like most French villages, has bells on the hour and half hour, if I remember correctly. Twelve chimes at noon is irritating I suppose, but twelve chimes at midnight must be maddening.
Dear Doug and Nancy
We had a short-duration hurricane-force wind here, Saturday morning and early afternoon, that did a lot of damage to trees and took some tiles off some roofs. Your favourite department store Bricomarche lost the whole of the roof of the outside store, the one where they keep bags of cement and all their bulk sheet material. Quite dramatic. I'll take a pitcher tomorrow to send you. No-one injured but the staff quite shocked.
In Léran we have had a 40 hour electricity power cut, ending a short while ago. The church clock stopped at 3.29 pm Saturday for the duration of the cut and we were the beneficiaries of nearly two days without the damned bells! The main cross-country electricity feed had been cut by a falling tree just outside the village, near the river bridge on the road to Aigues Vives. EDF mended it this morning (Monday) and the power was restored just in time for lunch.
During the cut Léran was without any street lighting and was silent as a morgue at night. We went to 5 rue du Four for dinner Saturday evening and Eileen and Alan did wonders without electricity - fortunately they had gas for cooking and we had a great feast. On the way home we saw the stars like never before and, in contrast to the storms on Saturday, Sunday was one of those dream days with wall-to-wall blue sky. At that time the prediction posted on the Mairie notice board was that we wouldn't have electric power restored for a few more days because of the widespread damage in the area. So Gwenda and I lit the barbecue and cooked everything raw from the freezer that might otherwise go to waste. I now have to eat my way through about one-and-a-half metres of cold barbecued Toulouse sausages - I'll have it with everything for a few days I guess.
14 rue du Four looks to be OK but I'll check the surrounding streets for remains of your furniture! Actually there was very little damage in the village. Our nearest neighbour lost her TV arial together with the top section of the chimney to which it was attached. But that was all we could see around our place.
So we had a little drama but not as fierce storms as people elsewhere. Fortunately for us we had just installed a wood burner last week and we lit it for the first time Sunday afternoon by which time the underfloor storage heating effect had worn off.