Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Alerte Orange

When it rains , it pours. Never a truer word spoken in relation to this part of France. However, this pouring rain usually only lasts for a couple of days here and then we can look forward to blue skies and calm conditions again. It's now been raining " comme une vache qui pisse " for the past four weeks at least. We're talking torrential rain here, rain that wets you to your knickers when you dash outside to put out the bins ...rain,  non. stop. rain.
I've never seen anything like it in this part of the world in the last 10 years I've been living here. Our neighbours talk ( in fact no-one is talking about anything else these days) about the deluge of October 1986 when they experienced similar conditions but it didn't rain for so long and for so hard , this non. stop. rain.
The university and many schools have been closed, bridges are fermés, roads blocked off, vineyards are flooded, people evacuated from their homes ..
"Chapeaux" to the authorites, there have been no fatalities in this department and they have been seen in force, clearing roads and unblocking drains, many warnings have been issued to stay at home, ne bougez pas!
Poor Cerbere and Banyuls are experiencing the worst of this deluge with streets turned into rivers but the roads and conditions everywhere have been treacherous. My partner was very nearly swept away by a river current driving from Port Vendres to Perpignan yesterday evening and saw many cars stranded at the side of the road.
The Alerte Orange has been lifted since 6am this morning, after another night of non. stop. rain. and today promises to be a bit less wet, thanks be to Zeus!

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