09 June 2011

A Very Sad Development

I PUT UP a post earlier this week about the incredible thunderstorms that passed through the area last Sunday morning. Well, yesterday we had a series of storms that made last Sunday look like golfing weather. For about 2 hours on Wednesday our village seemed to be the epicenter of what people around here are calling one of the fiercest storms they can remember. Unfortunately, the damage from the storm included the tragic death of an 11-year old boy from our village who was swept away in a torrent of water. His name was Roman and he was in Patrick and Julia's class last year at the local village school. Julia told me today that for most of last year he sat at the desk right in front of her. (The story can be read in the Nice Matin here.)

The community is obviously devastated. Roman lives about 600 meters from our house at the base of a large hill where there is a small stream that flows along the roadside. During the summer months the stream that flows along his property is barely 1 ft. deep and the average 11-year old could cross it in a single leap. But when the heavy rains come (as they have recently) the stream turns into a fast flowing river as it crests its banks and flows toward Roquefort-les-Pins, the town just down the road from ours. Roman was playing near the stream during the storms when he fell into the water. Early indications are that he hit his head on a tree which knocked him out. His body was found more than 1 km downstream by a local high school student. The link I posted above has a video clip where you can see the rushing water.

These are the kinds of stories you never want to hear, especially when they involve people you know. Kerri, the kids and I are feeling pretty sick about this one.

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