Tornado in Norfolk leaves trail of destruction

June 8, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

These pictures show the trail of destruction left by two 80ft high tornadoes which ripped across 10 miles of countryside in Norfolk.

The powerful ”Fen Twisters” gusting at over 100mph tore the roofs from buildings, toppled trees and even hurled a trampoline into power lines causing a blackout for 300 homes.

They left gardens and woodland damaged across the area between Marshland St James and Stradsett after striking ”out of the blue” during freak storms on Sunday afternoon.

The roof of an out-building was ripped off and dumped on top of a tree 330 feet away in Stradsett and a summer house was lifted from a garden and dumped in a field.

Dozens of trees were pulled from the ground in neighbouring woodland owned by The Stradsett Estate.

Gamekeeper Max Stuart, 29, watched in horror as the 80-foot funnel tore across the field towards his cottage in Stradsett, near King’s Lynn, at around 3pm.

He shouted to his fiancee Yvette Aldsworth and daughter Emilia, three, to keep away from the windows as the twister rampaged through his garden.

He said: ”It was like something out of the film Twister.

”There was debris, leaves and branches swirling round in the wind. It must have lasted about a minute and went over a mile across the estate.

”We were in the middle of a twister it passed straight through the houses.

”It snapped trees as wide as a car tyre clean off. It was very scary I’ve never seen anything like it.

”It was raining heavily, the noise from the wind was extremely loud.”

The tornado swept across the field narrowly missing three horses before it swept across the gardens of his neighbour Dave Harris.

It ripped the roof off a brick out-building and dumped it in the tree across the busy A1122.

Dave, a sergeant and engineer at RAF Marham, had been shopping with fiancee Clare Findull, 45, and daughter Sophie Findull, 19.

He said: ”As we came round the corner were thought there had been an accident as there was debris all over the road.

”Then we saw stuff from our garden in a tree and field. If it had hit the house it would have had the roof off. It pretty much smashed the garden up.

”It left a trail of destruction, you could see the line it had taken across the garden and through a hedge.

”It was extremely powerful and we were very lucky.”

Sophie’s brother Lewis, 16, was at home when the tornado tore through the garden.

He said: ”I looked out and saw all the debris. I saw trees bending over then the power cut off.”

A trampoline in his neighbour Martin Richmond’s garden was picked up and dumped on power lines causing blackout to 300 homes.

Martin and his family had been to the coast to celebrate his 57th birthday when the tornado hit.

He said: ”We came back to this disaster, it was just out of this world.”

Dozens of trees were decimated on woodland at The Stradsett Estate, owned by Sir Jeremy Bagge.

At Marshland St James the roofs of three bungalows were damaged in Smeeth Road and Second World war veteran Ken Adams, 90, found his summer house dumped in a neighbour’s garden.

He said: ”I heard a loud roar but it was stormy outside and I didn’t think anything of it until a neighbour came over to ask if I was OK because there had been a tornado.

”I then looked outside and my summer house was gone – the tornado had lifted it up, put it over the high hedge at the back of my garden and onto the field behind.”

It caused hundreds of pounds of damage to pensioner Jean Barker’s home lifting the roof off husband Derek’s shed, blew over a bird table, garden pots damaged and smashed a fountain.

Jean, 77, said: ”It was raining really hard and then I heard the noise of this wind, then everything went.”

Another tornado was spotted by researchers Weatherquest on Sunday in Long Stratton, near Norwich.

Tornado-chaser Chris Bell took a series of stunning photo of the funnel cloud as he tracked the twister across Norfolk.

He said: ”There was definitely enough spin in Sunday’s storms to produce a tornado or two.

”We had an area of low pressure moving of to the east and there was a lot of unstable air behind it, so it’s not a huge surprise.”

John Hammond, forecaster at The Met Office, said: ”These tornadoes are part of the weather system in this country and we have around 30 a year but it is rare for it to cause this level of destruction.”

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