In 1907, the entire French part of the Mediterranean Arc experienced a series of powerful, devastating floods in 1907.
Five major floods hit various areas killing at least 25 people. The Departments of the Gard and Hérault were the first to be flooded from 2 to 28 September, followed by the Lozère and Ardèche on 8 and 9 October, with ‘Mediterranean episode’ downpours.
On 12 to 13 October, the Aude and the Pyrénées-Orientales were in the firing line while floodwaters once again returned to the Gard and the Hérault Departments on 15 and 17 October.
Finally, Occitanie was again flooded from 6 to 9 November (Aude, Hérault, Aveyron) as was Provence (Vaucluse and Bouches-du-Rhône).
“As morning broke on 28 September, the town was in a pitiful state requiring a lengthy description.
On the esplanade, and wooden arenas had been swept away, the streets gouged out by the current and most blocked by various debris, while some were turned into muddy swamps.
Houses in the neighbourhood around the bridge had been torn apart by tree trunks that turned into battering rams in the floodwater, forcing their way through the most solid obstacles. Seven horses and a cow were found dead. In short, everywhere was a scene of devastation, made worse by a lack of drinking water and gas as the local production plant had been flooded”.
Extract from “Le Vidourle et ses vidourlades”, by Ivan Gaussen, published by Le Livre d’Histoire.
In Apt (84) the Calavon River rose on 8 November.
The writing at the top of the postcard reads:
“Vines and trees were swept away at Uncle Ode’s. It’s an unmitigated disaster”,
while lower down, is written, “Yesterday evening at 7 pm, the bridge was completely underwater”.
Providing yet more useful details, the reverse side reads,
“Rose arrived in good health but in pouring rain that is still falling as I write. We are flooded, the Calavon has breached its banks and is washing away the bridges. There is 1.5 m of water in the lower part of the Rue de la République but it hasn’t yet reached our house. There is 2.5 m of water in the cellar at my father-in-law’s house and the water has carried away barrels full of wine that were stored there”.
Source collection Jean-Paul Jouval.