These two departments are part of the 65 placed from Saturday 4:00 p.m. until Sunday morning in orange vigilance for thunderstorms, with a new risk of large hail.
“This hail corridor followed the entire Lando-Gers border and it is estimated that between 4 and 5,000 hectares of vines were affected, and several tens of thousands of hectares of crops were affected in the Gers”, said the president. of the departmental chamber of agriculture Bernard Malabirade.
According to him, three centimeter hailstones caused significant damage in the west of this department.
“In Montreal-du Gers, we had hailstones bigger than a golf ball!”, Said the director of the Armagnac interprofession Olivier Goujon, citing affected wine properties in Betbézer-d’Armagnac ( Landes), Castelnau-d’Auzan-Labarrère and Fourcès (Gers).
“There was indeed a disaster but it is too early to draw up an overall assessment,” he assured.
In Frêche (Landes), 25 km from Mont-de-Marsan, winemaker Nelly Lacave has found her 8.5 hectares of “chopped” vines.
“It’s an apocalyptic scene,” she told an AFP correspondent. “In the vineyards, there is nothing left, the roof of our agricultural building is a giant Swiss cheese and in the house, windows have burst. My father, who is almost 70 years old, has never seen that”.
“With the frost (at the beginning of spring), we already had 50% of losses. After the hail, we have 100%,” added Ms. Lacave, who also noted major damage in her dozens of hectares of sunflowers and corn.
According to her, even her 2023 harvest is in danger: “A vine injured as it is today, it will be very complicated to prune it this winter and to have a decent harvest next year” .
A speech also supported by the president of the Landes Chamber of Agriculture, Marie-Hélène Cazaubon, according to which this damage, on “still tender vegetation”, “can impact the vineyard for one or two years” and will “demand a enormous work of cleaning and size, to save what can still be saved”.
In Labastide-d’Armagnac (Landes), the mayor of the town Alain Gaube thinks he has “lost between 70 and 90% of (s) vines”. “On the ground, there is a large part of the leaves and the grapes. The grapes that remain (on the vine) are already brown, they are dead”, he noted.
According to an AFP correspondent, the roads in the area are strewn with leaves and branches and some broken trees.
The Landes firefighters carried out 78 interventions in 28 municipalities in connection with the meteorological episode and up to 4,500 homes were deprived of electricity, according to the prefecture. No injuries are reported.