Anyone living here in the South and Southwest of France had a really horrible one, I can assure you.
Saturday, the region was hit with one of the worst storms ever seen in the area. There have been at least 25 deaths and untold injuries. The damage has not yet been tallied, but it will be massive. Winds in some areas reached 184 kmh.
For some reason, we in the Possum Kingdom seem to have been spared the worst of it. There were some tiles lost off of roofs, some trees uprooted, etc., but the village itself seems to be mostly okay. The worst for us was that, like so many, we lost power for 36 hours and water for about 12 hours.
Heat was an issue, clearly, as even if you have oil heat, the furnace itself runs on electricity, so clearly, that wasn’t going to help anyone. Those of us with fireplaces used them A LOT. In fact, most of us managed to cook our dinner on them (baked potatoes and grilled steak was a popular choice). But candle power will only keep you entertained for so long, and I would imagine that almost everyone here went to bed at 8 or 9 pm both to keep warm and because you couldn’t really read or do much of anything else in the dark.
The worst of the storm was over by Saturday night and it wasn’t until yesterday morning that we were able to get out and see some of the damage. I think there will be months of clean up going on.
I can’t say enough about how our friends and neighbors pulled together to help each other. Those who had gas cooking kindly offered to heat things for those of us who were all electric; those of us with extra bread shared that with neighbors who had none. The fire department came around last evening to make sure that anyone who was alone and had no heat would be taken care of and not left to freeze in their homes. Our good friend Hazel, who lives in a part of the village that got its power back before the rest of us, kindly was ready to welcome Mom into her home for the night so that she would not have to spend a second night in the cold.
There are good people out there, and I’m pleased that we live amongst them.
Ciao for now.