Mid-Summer Hail Storm Hits the Franco-Swiss Border

A mid-summer hail storm hit on the afternoon of Thursday, June 20, 2013 on the south-west Franco-Swiss border.  Although it lasted only a short time, it caused some considerable damage.  Just 12km away in our village in France, we had a heavy downpour and some thunder but nothing more.

Large hailstones fell ferociously as can be seen in the video clip taken by our friend, Jil Robinson, at the scene.

Do you notice that it’s impossible to see very far?

Debris strewn across roads, including the A1 motorway, and walkways.  It left cars pitted all over and there were cases of damaged wind-shields and windows.  Trees were uprooted.

The storm very quickly subsided and only a couple of hours later we were able to walk across our village to the local pizzeria in shirt-sleeves.

The Next Day

Mid-Summer Storm: Broken Tree

Broken Tree
By Denise Foston

The following day was met with bright sunshine and the clean-up had begun in earnest.  On approaching the border compacted ice made from the hail stones could still be seen in various parts. It was clear that rivers and streams hadn’t cope with the deluge and had burst their banks leaving muddy swathes.

The school where she and my wife works was closed the following day due to the damage and debris strewn about.  Quite rightly it was deemed unsafe for the students.  Some roofs were damaged and windows broken.

In spite of the closure my wife went into school.  She was shocked to see the damage that had been caused to the school and the surrounding area.  The ‘Service Technique’ (Maintenance Team) were there already repairing the damage and doing what could only be described as a ‘sacré boulot’ (slang – incredible job).

A ‘Sacré Boulot’

Thanks to the staff of the maintenance team the school was able to reopen on the following Monday ready for the last week of the school year.

Why not take a look at the other pictures of the storm’s aftermath shown on our Portfolio Galleries.



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