Bad weather: “For most crops, it is between 80 and 100% of losses” according to the Minister of Agriculture

“It’s catastrophic, I have rarely seen episodes like this one, the situation is really dramatic. In agricultural terms, Drôme and Isère are the departments most affected,” the minister said on BFM-TV. who went there. “For most crops, it’s between 80 and 100% loss,” he said. Nine departments had been placed in orange vigilance by Météo-France, Ain, Ardèche, Drôme, Isère, Loire, Haute-Loire, Rhône, Savoie and Haute-Savoie. In Haute-Savoie, a 51-year-old German tourist died in a campsite, crushed by a tree that had fallen on her camper van.

In the Drôme, firefighters intervened on nearly 380 times in the department, including more than 200 in Romans-sur-Isère alone, where the hail only fell for a quarter of an hour but the episode summer “of incredible violence, accompanied by very strong swirling winds,” said the town hall in a statement. The minister insisted that “the State will be there, as it always has been. The state of natural disaster will be taken in the next two days, in the next two days it will be done” , he said.

“It is necessary that all those who are affected make their declaration to the insurance as of tomorrow. It is unthinkable that farmers go out of business after this episode”, added Mr. Guillaume. The Météo France forecast service underlined that “this stormy episode had turned out to be very active with heavy falls of hail, strong gusts of wind reaching or exceeding quite frequently 100 km / h in the departments of the Loire, of Isère, of Haute-Savoie “.

Irreversible

“It’s irreversible”: startled, an arborist notes the damage caused by hail in orchards in the north of Drôme, which the state will declare in a situation of natural disaster and agricultural calamity after violent storms on Saturday. “Almost all of my harvest is ruined”, estimates Sunday Grégory Chardon, operator in La Roche-de-Glun west of Romans-sur-Isère, epicenter of the storm that swept through the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region . His farm produces apricots, peaches and cherries, but little will come out of them this season, despite the protective nets, some of which have bent under the weight of hailstones that look like ice cubes in places. Few of the fruit was spared, many torn or fallen to the ground. For Gregory Chardon, who chairs the departmental federation of the FNSEA union, it is “unheard of”. “The damage is enormous, in a large radius, cereals, greenhouses and market gardening are affected, the vine also”, he indicates.

In the neighboring town of Pont-de-L’Isère, “we really thought it was the end of the world,” says another arborist, Aurélien Esprit, touring his orchards in a video posted on Facebook. “I’ll show you what we just took”, continues, hot and holding back his tears, the young operator. “It’s all screwed up, I’ve never seen that, whole blocks of ice fell, imagine what it did. He shows apricots on the ground. His young apple trees have suffered as well.” The season has ended. unfortunately stopped for us last night. I’m not going to get out of it this time I think, “blows the one who is also LR departmental advisor.

(With AFP)