Tag Archives: floods

Worst floods in living memory

23 Oct

As some of you may have read, the department of the Aude has been hit by the worst floods in living memory. Our commune, along with 125 others in the Aude, has been officially recognised as being a zone of natural catastrophe.

Fortunately our dwelling has not been affected but our organic garden has been wiped out. The disaster figures are staggering:

    14 people are dead with scores more in hospital
    6,000 people without homes
    Over 10,000 tonnes of household possessions to be removed and scrapped
    Many bridges need rebuilding or replacing
    The total damage to possessions and infrastructure is estimated at €300 million.
    Over 6,000 vehicles to be scrapped

All this happened within an area about 30km diameter of where we live.

Here are some photos of our damage.


The mysterious hole


We have lots of wood now!


There is one of the decking pallets under this lot!


Where to start?


We cannot access this area yet

We are now taking stock of what’s happened. Sadly the beehives were swept away along with the colony of bees that Trish had been nurturing for the last two years. One of the four goldfish seem to have jumped ship. The new watering system has lost only the pump, amazingly. We think we can find three of the nine pallets that made up the garden terrace, but the frame of the marquee that covered it has gone. The reed bed system seems to be intact although the lower filter is almost entirely covered with debris.

This is what the garden looked like before the flood:


It rained ‘cats & dogs’ here today

4 Apr

Today it rained really hard all morning. Really heavy downpours. Normally the water is diverted around the Peace Factory and runs off in gullies down to the river.

Today it didn’t!

The water at the back of the factory runs in a concrete gutter formed in the wall about the level of the first floor. This is because the factory is built into a cliff. The gutter is not well sealed and water started to run down below, finding its way into the factory through a failed expansion joint.

Result – a flood!

Here is the team clearing up afterwards.


And here is Sylvain emerging from the cavity below the first floor after having drilled a hole to let the water escape.