Friday, 21 August 2009


When our guests ask for it, we do a little guided tour along the remains of the old tile factory. We always start were the process of tile making started, i.e. at the clay pit in our filed. The occasional guest asks how it is possible, that a tiny little stream like the Grosne could have produced any significant amounts of clay. Of course clay sediments are not deposed overnight; the deposit is a matter of centuries. And that the Grosne in the summertime looks like a peaceful little brook, does not mean that it is always like that. In spring or autumn this little river can flood huge areas around here, especially when melting snow from the nearby hills combined with heavy rainfall in the area makes the river swell to proper river proportions.
It is not unknown to us, that under those circumstances the Grosne is a piddly little stream, and by lunchtime it has turned into a seething river, inundating the surrounding meadows and demolishing the protection of the banks. We have experienced floods about three times now. The last time even the road between Chazelle and the D981 (the road to Cormatin) was closed by the pompiers, and a few houses along that stretch were inundated as well.
Fortunately these things do not happen too often. the first time we experienced a flood at this scale was in April 2006, the last time in November 2008. On the pictures the height difference is well illustrated. On the first picture one can see, that the difference between the roof of the lavoir (washing place) and the level of the Grosne (water already approx. 75 cm above normal) is approximately 1.75 m (my height).
On the second picture the water has risen to the edge of the roof, hence approx. 2.5 m.
In the morning, on my way to the baker, the situation was as in picture 1. By lunchtime the same day the water had risen to the level on picture 2.
At that time the meadows around us were inundated, the road was closed, and everybody was wondering what to do about two pregnant mares that got caught on a protruding knoll. Luckily for the owner, in the late afternoon the horses could be rescued without any damage!

The website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle

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