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Storm damage
by Annik • Tue 10 Feb 2009 11:11

We have just had a text message from a neighbour in our village to say that our barn roof has been damaged by last night's storm, which I gather was pretty bad. Is there widespread damage in the Creuse and do you know if it has been designated a "natural disaster" (or whatever) that means you have to get your insurance claim in very quickly? We have asked them to take a photo of it for us for the insurance company. In the very bad storms about ten years ago we had roof damage to the house and barn which was repaired immediately by our dear, sadly late, neighbour's son-in-law, a builder, after he had repaired his own. He then went on to spend the next six months or so doing roof repairs for unlucky home owners. I trust the situation isn't so bad this time.

I hope all our fellow Pontnoirers' property is OK.

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Storm damage
by dissid32 • Tue 10 Feb 2009 18:54

I live near Mainsat, which is not all that far from Chenerailles, and I was lying in bed last night listening to the wind wooh-woohing round the house, and hearing all sorts of banging noises, and it was really quite scary. I was sure I heard a slate crash down, and I was imagining the slates being ripped off the roof, and wondering what I would have to do about it the next day.
In the morning I checked all around and couldn't find any sign of any damage anywhere. No slates on the ground. Nothing. So a pleasant surprise.
I think, though I could be wrong, that the worst of the wind was in the north of France. I haven't seen any signs of widespread damage around here. The only thing I did see was that a bus shelter appeared to have been lifted off its foundations.
If your neighbours are helping you sort out the damage to your roof, probably there's nothing I can do to help, but if you think of anything let me know.

Patrick
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dissid32
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Feb 2006
Re: Storm damage
by Annik • Tue 10 Feb 2009 21:44

Hi dissid32

Thank you very much for your concern. I am very pleased that the damage you visualised during the night didn't actually happen to your house.

We are still waiting to get an email or text back from our neighbours (yes, I know we ought to phone but I hate phoning in French!). They are very "well connected" in the community - he is a deputy mayor - and I think if any work needs doing they should be able to find someone. But thank you very much indeed for your kind offer.

I was really wanting to find out if the damage across the department was as bad as last time, when there was a very short period when you could put in undisputed insurance claims. I remember seeing someone's entire roof lying in their farmyard! We can't get out to deal with it ourselves until April, unfortunately.

All good wishes

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Storm damage
by lestroisours • Wed 11 Feb 2009 17:33

Despite a high wind and lots of noise, On the Millevache we suffered no damage at all, except for a our tonnelle which we were foolish to leave up in any case. There was considerably more damage in the southern departements the previous fortnight, so we consider that we have got off lightly.
Chris

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
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lestroisours
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Oct 2007
Re: Storm damage
by Goose • Thu 12 Feb 2009 15:28

Hi Annik

We didn't have any real storm damage either. One of our heavily laden with honeysuckle pergolas took on a lean for the first time but that was all. A farm building down the road lost of couple of slates off the roof but we didn't see any other damage as we drove to Guéret yesterday.

"They" have been cutting branches and trees all along the roadsides of the Départment for the last few weeks so there is a lesser risk of trees falling onto the roads during heavy weather (winds or snow) and if you haven't been down lately, you will certainly notice this.

We watched in fascination as a saw-blade in the shape of an enormous spinning disc, seated onto a securely balanced lorry, sliced through tree trunks and at the same time an "arm" in the shape of a huge claw "caught" the trunk as it was cut and laid it in the field. Same with the smaller branches.

Back to your original question though, we too heard the wind rushing through our narrow road like it was in a funnel but apart from depositing zillions of leaves in the front of our house, not much else resulted from it.

Goose

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Re: Storm damage
by Lynn • Thu 12 Feb 2009 16:25

We lost our polytunnel, got itslf wrapped round an ash tree, thankfully or else it might have been across the main road!!!
But it sure was a wild night.
La Montagne said there were gusts between 2-3am of between 100-135kph, if that helps you, Annik.
Lynn

Lynn
321
Apr 2008
Re: Storm damage
by amandaandclint • Thu 12 Feb 2009 18:13

Hi Annik

Was in Jarnages the other day and there were a few barns etc with hols in their roofs.

Also, in our area between you and Boussac there has been a lot of roof damage - some buildings having 2 - 3m holes.

A lot of people lost the odd tile etc. A lot of places also lost electric... we did for about 36 hours.

All in all, it could be worse :-)

amandaandclint
117
Feb 2007
Re: Storm damage
by Annik • Fri 13 Feb 2009 01:19

Thanks very much everyone, we really appreciate your feedback. It looks as if we have lost about ten feet of ridge tiles, some tiles along the gable end and there are various holes in the roof but nothing dreadful like 2-3 metres, thank goodness. Our neighbours are now going to try to get a roofer to give us a quote. We have sent photos of the damage off to the insurance company to warn them that a claim should be on the way in the fullness of time. Our position in the landscape is such that we are the first building for miles that gets the full blast of the wind and rain.

However, tiny things like this are put into perspective when we Skype friends in Melbourne and they talk about those nightmarish bush fires...

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Storm damage
by smartinee • Tue 17 Feb 2009 11:39

Hi We live in St Medard la Rochette and we lost approx 30 tiles during the course of the night as did our neighbours and 1 tree was uprooted. If there is anything we can do to help please feel free to contact us.

smartinee
41
Mar 2005
Re: Storm damage
by handyjack23 • Tue 17 Feb 2009 11:52

Thank you very, very much Smartinee - your offer is greatly appreciated. At the moment I don't think we need to take you up on it but I will get in touch if we do. I am very sorry to hear about your damage and hope you will be able to get it repaired quickly. We have our fingers crossed that a mutual friend has contacted the local roofer (Mr. Bonaventure, do you know him?) on our behalf; another very kind friend has said he will go in and spread a tarpaulin over the hayloft to stop rain coming through into our workshop, if the repair can't be done quickly. People have been extremely thoughtful and we are very touched.

We love St Medard and always go to the brocante there. Your cemetery is absolutely fascinating. However you are so exposed that you must be very vulnerable to the wind and weather.

Many thanks to all in the PN community who have offered help.

Annik and Handyjack

PS: We have just had a fantastic ruby wedding weekend away with the family in a rented house in the deepest countryside on the borders of Worcestershire/Shropshire, and it reminded us very much of the hillier parts of the Creuse round Toulx Ste-Croix - or come to think of it, St Medard. You could see as far as the Brecon Beacons, which was quite a surprise.

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handyjack23
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Aug 2007
Re: Storm damage
by smartinee • Tue 17 Feb 2009 12:08

Hi

We actually live on the La Rochette side of the 2 'joined' communes and so luckily are not quite so exposed although when we had the tempete du grele (apologies for lack of accents) we sustained huge damages and ended up on the front page of La Montagne!! The insurance companies were rubbish and refused to pay out at all for many properties in our hamlet :(
Hope you get everything sorted soon in case we get our usual heavy coating of snow in March!

mini-tornado_177.jpg

smartinee
41
Mar 2005
Re: Storm damage
by Annik • Tue 17 Feb 2009 19:03

Oh you poor things! I'm sure I've seen that cutting. How on earth did the insurance companies manage to wriggle out of paying? This afternoon I plucked up courage to speak to the roofer Mr Bonaventure (see above) on the phone and when he asked about our excess (130 euros) and the maximum amount of damage that can be repaired before they send someone out to assess it (350 euros instead of the much larger sum he expected), he said our policy was rubbish and we ought to change companies in future...

Fingers crossed!

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Storm damage
by Goose • Wed 18 Feb 2009 10:38

Oooops! Which insurance company are you with, Annik? I must admit that we just "took over" the policy from the chap we bought our property from in 2003 - changing names etc. It is with Axa in Chénérailles and although we updated it following our expansion/renovation etc, we have never really studied it, always having assumed that Axa are a good company. Luckily we have not needed to claim.

Your post has made me intend to dig it out and see what excess we may have on it that we hadn't thought about - and this from someone who was in the insurance business for twelve years in the UK!

We keep meaning to obtain alternative quotes every year but by the time we think about it seriously, it's too late - you know the rules re changing insurance companies here!

Goose

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Goose
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Mar 2005
Re: Storm damage
by Annik • Thu 19 Feb 2009 23:56

We're with AGF through an agency in Chateauroux; it was arranged when we bought the house by the Irish chap who worked for the immobilier in Limoges; we suspected that the agent was a friend of his but weren't in a position to argue. We haven't changed - as you say, it's not a simple thing to do. They did pay out for the tempete in 1999, however. I will keep you posted.

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Storm damage
by Annik • Fri 20 Feb 2009 18:25

I must add that today AGF have come up trumps. Veronique, in the office, has been very helpful and kept in touch by email. After talking on the phone to the roofer and looking at the photos we sent them of the damage to the roof they have decided that they do not need to send an expert out to assess the situation and they have approved the roofer's estimate of 1200 euros for the repairs. So that, fingers crossed, should be that.
Thank goodness!

Annik

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Jun 2007
Re: Storm damage
by Goose • Sat 21 Feb 2009 15:00

That's good news.

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Goose
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Mar 2005
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