in July 1969 a tornado ripped through the city

There was no talk of global warming at the time, but bad weather was already raging. Those who lived in the village at that time have not forgotten it. Jean Merle, former regional adviser and former president of the FDSEA, recalls. “Our La Pérouse farm in Montracol was badly affected, as was the family farm in Saint-André-sur-Vieux-Jonc. I will never forget it, the sky was clear but the heat was very strong, unusual and terrifying. We saw a cloud coming from the west, curious but at first of little importance. Then it grew very quickly and became colorful. “

“It was an apocalyptic landscape”

Within seconds, a veritable tornado was unleashed. It was a quarter of an hour of hail and violent wind. “I still see our 60 m² chicks lifted off the ground and carried by the” Vieux-Jonc “300 m ahead and our chicks squashed. Our shed, which had been completed the day before, is half destroyed, the tiles blown away, at our feet a huge uprooted oak tree and our cornfields completely obliterated, cut by hail. Fifteen days later, the pulled corn rose and produced, but not the chopped corn. “

Georges Mercier had come from Buellas with his combine; he began to nod, and in a panic, believing that his last hour had just had time to protect himself in the “mauve grain.” “It was an apocalyptic landscape, we had to get to Saint-André, it took us two hours to make the 5 km trip; we had to get a chainsaw and several saws to clear the road as we drove. “

“Many crosses and funeral monuments did not resist”

On the Saint-André farm, corn was planted but there was no hail. The cows were trapped in their pastures, the trees thrown everywhere prevented them from entering. “After several hours, once they were sheltered and the tornado passed, they no longer wanted to go out, fear prevented them. “

“Between La Capitale and l’Étoile, ten concrete poles lay in the road with tangled electrical cables. But, fortunately: neither dead nor injured, it was a miracle. In the cemetery, the spectacle was terrifying, a real nightmare: many crosses and funeral monuments did not resist, they were found on the ground. “

His story ends with great emotion: “No, bad weather is nothing new but we quickly forget it! “

It took a chainsaw and several saws to clear the path

Jean merle