Roofs damaged as tornado strikes

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MINI-TORNADOES ripped through parts of Eastbourne and brought tiles and roofs off homes at the weekend.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue were called out to Hereford Court, Badlesmere Road and Kipling Walk on Saturday (December 18) after residents reported that strong winds had caused damage to their homes.

Frederick Riddle, 84, who has lived in Badlesmere Road with his wife Rosemary for 27 years, says he has never seen weather like it.

“It only lasted a few seconds but the winds were so strong and the hail stones sounded like a machine gun as they hit the kitchen window,” said Mr Riddle.

“It went extremely dark and we had a rumble of thunder too.”

The couple lost tiles from their roof and firefighters were called out to make the area safe.

Mr Riddle says he is now having trouble claiming on his home cover as his insurers say the wind was only 18mph.

He added, “It was much more than 18mph because the trees in our road were bending right over and our heavy wheel-barrow in the back garden was blown 15 feet up the garden.”

“We do get strong winds here but I have never seen it that bad before.”

Firefighters were also called to Kipling Walk after a garage roof ended up in a neighbouring garden.

Residents in the Langney cul-de-sac also told the Gazette that the roof of a house had lifted in the high winds.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue confirmed two appliances had attended the incidents which were believed to have been caused by mini-tornadoes.

No-one in known to have been injured in the freak weather conditions.

The mini-tornadoes came as Eastbourne was affected by snow and ice for the second time this year.