Rain or Shine...

FIERCE STORMS that battered France this week took a heavy toll not just on buildings, trees, and historic monuments. The terrible gales also have destroyed thousands of prizestocks of oysters.

The winds have plunged oystermen into deep despair at a time of year when their briny produce is most prized on holiday tables. Losses are estimated at at least 20,000 tons of oysters and 12,000 to 15,000 tons of mussels.