We've been having monsoon rains here in Saint-Aignan for a few days now. Yesterday was incredible. I've never seen rain fall so hard — at least not here. There was some lightning and a lot of rumbling thunder too. At least there was no hail. The cause, apparently, was the remnants of a tropical storm named Henry (Henri?) that moved in off the ocean on Thursday.
The only silver lining to all the bad weather news is that we didn't see any signs of the leaky roof that we have had on and off for the past five years. The framing around the Velux skylight windows up in the loft seems to have stayed perfectly dry. So did the corner of the kitchen ceiling that developed a bad leak a couple of years ago.
You can see "ropes" of rain (des cordes de pluie) in this photo.
With rains that fall so hard, and these old tile roof structure, there is always a danger of small infiltrations and water damage inside the house. We got off scot-free this time, I'm glad to say. OH NO! I was wrong. Walt just noticed that there's a big damp spot in the middle of the kitchen ceiling. Merde! Time to call the contractor...
Trapped inside by rising waters
So how much rain actually fell? I just went out and emptied the rain gauge. In the space of a few hours yesterday afternoon, 38 mm — exactly 1½ inches — fell on us. That's 38 liters of water per square meter of ground, if that means anything to you. The plot of land we live on measures 2,300 square meters, so doing the arithmetic shows that 87,400 liters of water fell just on us. That's 874 hectoliters, or 87.4 cubic meters. In U.S. gallons, that's 23,088.64.
Picturesque but pretty damp
Luckily, we live pretty much at the top of a hill, so the water does run off quickly. There's no real danger of flooding, though you can see how there was some ponding on the gravel driveway in front of the house. That's something we've seen only three or four times in the 12 years we've lived here in Saint-Aignan. The rain we had in just three for four hours yesterday afternoon is the average amount that falls in the space of three weeks.
A river ran through it
And that was just yesterday. On Thursday 9/17 we collected 35 mm in the gauge. That means you can double all the figures I gave above, and that's for a two-day rain episode. We got about 20 mm over the five previous days. And on September 1, we had a rainfall amount of 31 mm. If we had any boat-building skills, we might have an ark under construction in the back yard. Or maybe we should be thinking about a new roof.