Presstalis Couple Swept Away in Storms

7th October 2020
A couple of octogenarian employees of SAD (Presstalis) from Roquebillière in the Alpes-Maritimes were swept away by the swollen river after their house collapsed. The story of this couple moved the whole of France this weekend. The couple were employed in the Newspaper & Magazine industry for over 40 years, recently delivering magazines to news agents and putting up posters on the kiosks in Nice.

The story of this couple moved the whole of France this weekend and they had  Surrounded by the waters of the Vésubie, the river transformed into a fury, an elderly couple had taken refuge in their living room. As an SOS, he waved a small lamp behind the speed. Before the house crumbles, disintegrates and carries them in the waves and the mud

This missing couple is named Josette and Léopold Borello. 83 and 88 years old.

Despite the emergency, the elderly did not want to leave their homes, says the mayor of the village Gérard Manfredi.We tried to convince them that it was necessary to leave their house on several occasions from noon, nothing worked, they did not want to know anything, says, first magistrate in Nice-Matin.


People walk on tree branches after the Storm Alex in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, on October 4, 2020, after extensive flooding caused widespread damage in the Alpes-Maritimes departement. – French and Italian rescue services stepped up their search efforts after floods cut off several villages near the two countries’ border, causing widespread damage and killing two people in Italy. Eight people remained unaccounted for on the French side of the border after storms, torrential rain and flash floods battered the area, washing away roads and houses, cutting off entire villages and triggering landslips. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)


The couple’s son, Eric Borello, is bruised and knows there is no more hope. “My parents are missing but I know it’s over. I understood when I got confirmation that they were in the house until the last moment. They left together after a long life of love. This is what I tell myself to soften my grief, “he explains to Nice-Matin. The last contact with his parents dates back to Friday afternoon on the phone. “I had my mother on the phone every quarter of an hour. She told me: Eric it’s catastrophic. The water rises on the path. We feel in danger . The town hall came to ask them to evacuate. I heard: Come out, come out! I shouted: Go! ” His mother then tells him that they are going to take some things and take refuge with the neighbours.

News & Mags deliveries

The mayor of Roquebillière remembers that the couple had already experienced a flood 25 years ago. “During the flood of 1994, they had listened to us, and the fact of having found their completely devastated house, all to be redeveloped, had broken them. They did not want to relive that”.

During their working life, Léopold worked at SAD in Nice (part of Presstalis), a company which received newspapers and magazines before delivering them to newsagents. Josette displayed the advertisements on kiosks behind the wheel of her Renault 4.

Once retired, the couple had left Nice to settle in their second home in Roquebillière. The Borello couple had their house built there in the early 1970s and it was loved and appreciated by the neighbors. A happy life between DIY, garden and family life. Until the Vésubie tears everything in its path.



#Article translated and reproduced in part courtesy of La Depeche.Fr

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