Page last updated at 22:24 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

'It was the worst storm I have ever encountered'

A man walks though a flooded campsite in La Faute-sur-Mer, western France
Western France has seen some of the worst storm damage

At least 50 people have died in storms that have hit parts of Spain, Portugal and France.

Many of the victims were in France, where several drowned or were hit by debris or falling trees.

Here, readers in some of the worst-affected areas describe the damage caused by rain and winds of up to 140km/h (87mph).


Bagneres de Luchon has been hit extremely hard, with wind speeds of over 210km/h recorded on the peaks and 150km/h in the valley. One man was killed and his pregnant wife who was standing alongside him was injured. The town's ski resort, Superbagneres, was evacuated and today resembles a war zone. The town's parks are decimated with trees that have stood for 100 years being ripped out of the ground. Up to 50 people were rescued from a mountain pass between France and Spain when fallen trees blocked the road in both directions.
Mike Jones, Bagneres de Luchon, French Pyrenees

We took the road back from La Rochelle this morning to find a 40-ft river running across the motorway with cars just simply washed off the road. There were emergency services everywhere. I've never seen so much water where it just shouldn't have been. It was a total disaster area.
Craig Morris, Charente

The winds were really bad at 0200 (0100 GMT) this morning here in the south of the Deux-Sevres region of western France. We lost electricity, the phone lines and internet. They have just been restored. We believe the town of La Rochelle was flooded, as were the islands or Re and Oleron and roads to them are flooded.
Tim and Karen Hawke, Pioussay

We live near to the River Charente, on higher ground, fortunately. We lost electricity and phones just after midnight last night, then lay in bed listening to the wind howling and banging on the shutters. This morning the wind had dropped to about 90 km/h and, apart from some tree damage, we and neighbours were all well. But the road into the village was closed by floods, for the first time in living memory.

Everywhere was flooded. The wind had backed up a high tide which met torrential rain water coming down the Charente - the predictable result widespread flooding. But, as the news stories show, only a few miles from here people were dying and losing their homes and all to floodwaters and high seas.
Derek Tunnicliffe, Bords

I spent the whole evening from 2100 right through to 0800 this morning battening down anything that moved and managed not to sustain any damage. Around us, many trees have been uprooted and some people have lost roof tiles. Though thankfully, in our region, there have been no injuries reported. But it was the worst storm I have ever encountered.
Carolyn Bucley, Persac, France

Between 0400 and 0530 the winds came through at 130km/h but by daylight it seems that our village in the Vendee was not adversely affected. Our thoughts go to those in the southern Vendee who were so badly affected. We were down there yesterday afternoon before the storm came in and the River Lay looked heavily laden and it can only be assumed that the storm caused a sea surge to meet the river water. It is a most pleasant area and we hope their lives will have recovered by the summer season. We should always remember those Vendeans who were less fortunate last night.
John, Mache, Vendee

I live just up the coast from Vendee. At 0400 this morning the wind and rain were horrendous. Our thoughts are with those who lost relatives.
Chris Varley, Nantes


We live south of Frankfurt and have experienced really high winds all afternoon - and the winds are continuing as of 1730. We have lost some tiles from our garage roof - I got up a ladder to remove the remaining loose tiles. We were going to visit someone today but thought the better of it when we took the dog for walk - we could barely stand up and passed the fire brigade dealing with a fallen tree on our return home. We have been hearing sirens all afternoon as the emergency services attend various accidents and there is debris from fallen tree branches littering the roads.
JG, Frankfurt

Down in the Algarve, in Portugal, we had about four hours of high winds from around 1400 on Saturday. Here in Berlin now I have just got back - we have the beginnings of a storm. We are seeing the same winds twice.
David, Berlin


Driving at 40mph down a country road, a tree fell right in front of us. Another three seconds or if we were driving any faster and we would have been under the tree.
Stephanie, Luxembourg

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