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A tornado left a trail of destruction today after ripping through a village in the New Forest in the early hours

by Sean Chill (2020-06-23)

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A tornado left a trail of destruction today after ripping through a village in the New Forest in the early hours.

Residents in Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire, were woken at 4am as the twister blasted through the town 'like an 'express train. The strength of the winds of up to 80mph shook houses, sending roof tiles smashing to the ground.

A 30ft long brick wall collapsed under the strength of the gusts while fence panels were flung through the air.

Part of a garden shed that had been picked up by the tornado smashed a hole through the windscreen of a car.

The glass panel of a front door was also shattered by flying debris, although there were no reports of injuries during the tornado which lasted for a matter a seconds.

Weather experts say it was 'probable that it was a tornado.

It comes as temperatures will fall to -5C (23F) this weekend as Britain is hit by the first cold snap of the year. 

Dave Thorne holds a smashed garden fence after a tornado hit the New Forest village of Barton-on-Sea early today

 

Mike Bird holds a piece of someone's shed roof which ended up hitting his car in Barton-on-Sea in the early hours of today

The extreme weather ripped apart garden fence panels which smashed into glass doors in Barton-on-Sea in Hampshire today

The tornado left a trail of destruction today after it ripped through the village in the New Forest in the early hours of today

The tornado made a 300-yard path through Barton-on-Sea, affecting suburban homes on Seaward Avenue, Sea Road and Keysworth Avenue.

Local resident Dave Thorne, 66, said: 'We were woken at around 4am and it was like a sci-fi movie.

There was an almighty crash, it sounded like Armageddon was going on outside.

'It went very quickly from just normal storm and wind noise to sounding like a freight train was hitting our window. There was a loud crack and the whole house felt like it was buffering.
Our bedroom windows have been pushed in.

'The UPVC support structures are broken and we have fence and roof damage. We'll have to pay to for a new fence and we have people from the insurance company coming round later about the other damage.

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'The main thing is that nobody was injured as far as we know but it was really scary while it was going on.'

One resident said he was awoken in the night when one of his fence panels flew 200ft through the air before smashing into a block of flats.

Martin Young believes that somebody would have been killed had they been walking outside at the time.

The 65-year-old board director said: 'I was woken up by an almighty bang - it was like being hit a train. Everything just went white for about 30 seconds and you couldn't really see anything because of the speed of the wind.

This graphic shows where the tornado ripped through the Hampshire village of Barton-on-Sea at about 4am this morning

Roof repairs in Barton-on-Sea today as homeowners count the cost of the tornado which hit the south coast town overnight

Three neighbours in Barton-on-Sea who all lost fences today - from left, Stephen Powell, Dave Thorne and Martin Young

Stephen Powell looks at a wall which collapsed into his garden during the tornado overnight in Barton-on-Sea

Resident Dave Thorne stands next to a smashed garden fence after the tornado ripped through Barton-on-Sea overnight

'My fence panel flew about 200ft through the air and hit a block of flats on the second storey.

Anyone walking around would have been swept right off their feet and killed so in a way we've been very lucky.

'I've lost a fence which isn't covered by insurance, but in a way it could have been a lot worse.'

Mike Bird, 65, said: 'I was out for the count but my wife woke up and said 'what the hell was that?' It was like a big bang that shook the whole house.

It was hammering it down with rain.

'Our Renault Scenic has a big hole in the rear windscreen from where it had been hit by flying debris. We think it was struck by part of someone's shed. We have a hole in a roof from where roof tiles have come off.'

Annette O'Flynn added: 'Our garden shed was totally demolished in Seaward Avenue.

It felt like the whole house moved and it was very scary.'

And Stephen Maskell said: 'We were woken by something which sounded like an express train thundering past the house and gravel hitting the windows.

'It bought down our front fence including snapping a concrete post in half, breaking ridge tiles on the roof and dislodging tiles.

It was very scary indeed.'

Radar images taken at the time suggest that the damage was caused by a tornado and the incident has been reported to Torro, the UK's leading tornado and storm research group.

Fence panels were ripped apart, roof tiles were flung across the New Forest village today and conservatories were damaged

A brick wall was also destroyed by the tornado which ripped through the seaside village of Barton-on-Sea this morning

Roof tiles were ripped off this property in Barton-on-Sea this morning as a tornado swept through the Hampshire village

A tractor drives through flood water near Stadhampton in Oxfordshire today

Among their ranks is forecaster Paul Knightley, who works for DTN Weather which is behind the BBC's forecasts.

He said it was 'probable' a tornado had caused the damage and that a member of Torro would visit the site soon to investigate further.



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