UK weather: ‘Mini-tornado’ leaves trail of destruction in Cheshire town

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A “mini tornado” has left a trail of destruction on a housing estate after tearing through the Cheshire town of Widnes.

Residents have been complaining of damaged buildings and uprooted trees in the area as extremely high winds battered the town after midday on Wednesday.

CCTV footage from a house camera on the new build estate off Moorfield Road showed the storm causing havoc, with contents of gardens, including a trampoline, left strewn across the street.

Brickwork had also collapsed and fences were damaged, while windows were smashed due to the strong winds.

The mini-tornado also ripped tiles from roofs and tore down trees, while several cars were dented by flying debris.

Another video showed toppled bins flying down a road as the contents were thrown out.

The clean up has now begun and some road closures have been put in place as Cheshire Police officers are on the scene.

A force spokesman said: “At 12.25pm on Wednesday, 20 October, police received reports of damage in the Widnes area.

“The damage includes a wall falling down, windows of cars smashed and debris on Camberwell Park Road.

“A number of road closures are in place, including Camberwell Park Road at the junction of Moorfield Road.

“Damage has also occurred to the garage of a property on Kensington Close.”

The force said there had been no reports of any injuries.

John Hatton, who lives on Greenwich Avenue where the tornado passed through, described the ordeal as “madness”.

He said the extreme winds came out of nowhere and shook his house for around 30 seconds, causing damage to his home and car.

“I was in the back kitchen preparing my lunch and it just seemed to get windy really quickly, and then everything was blowing in air, there was fence panels blowing round, noises, the house seemed to shake for 20-30 seconds and then calm all of a sudden,” he told CheshireLive.

The Met Office said there have been several reports of funnel clouds and tornadoes across the UK over the past few weeks.

The narrow, spinning columns of air are formed when the weather is “unstable” and showery, and reach the ground from cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds.

It is claimed that the UK gets more tornadoes per square kilometre than the US, but not more tornadoes in total, the Met Office said.

Around 30 tornadoes are reported each year in the UK, although these are generally much weaker than those that hit America.

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