Hayling Island properties hit by 'tornado'
- 20 October 2013
- From the section England
About 100 homes have been damaged by a "tornado" on Hayling Island in Hampshire, police have said.
Havant Council said properties in Blackthorn Road and Ilex Walk were damaged by high winds at about 08:00 BST.
The council said there were no reported injuries and its officers were assessing the damage to properties.
Kayla Killshaw-Laing, who was staying on the island overnight, described the experience as "horrendous".
Hampshire Constabulary has received calls regarding damaged vehicles, power lines, and beach huts.
Highway teams are currently clearing up debris around the area.
Eyewitness Marcus Hunt said: "My wife and I watched a swirl of sea water and rain come across the sea and hit land in front of our house on Hayling seafront.
"The sky was extremely black and there were lots of squalls and then the tornado whipped up. It must have been 30ft to 40ft across. We saw it pick lots of spray and shingle off the beach."
Tony Hunt, from Guildford, Surrey, said he discovered his beach hut on the island had been shunted 2m [6ft 6in] across the beach.
'Caravan flipped over'
The roof was ripped off and parts of it were found 400m (1,300ft) away on the other side of the road.
He said: "We drove down to survey the damage and were quite shocked by what we saw... the neighbouring hut was lifted too."
Ms Killshaw-Laing said: "There was this horrendous crashing sound… the dogs were barking so I went to the window and looked out and this huge tree just landed on top of my parents' car.
"I was in a panic… I'm just staying here for the night, I was here to tidy their front garden, how ironic.
"We've had to have chainsaws to saw the whole thing up and remove it, but the caravan flipped over next door."
High winds also damaged properties several miles away in Gosport.
Gaynor Wood, who lives there, said: "The wind sucked the loft hatch cover into the roof space, slammed the bedroom doors and shut the window.
"It was over very quickly and seems to have been extremely isolated - our house is semi-detached and yet the neighbours don't seem to have been hit.
"The tiles bounced off the roof, scraped the front of the house and damaged two cars in the drive.
"My husband's brand new car has had its roof pierced by roof tiles."
Ian Hoult, head of emergency planning at Hampshire County Council, said a number of roofs had been damaged and trees uprooted.
He said: "Fortunately we don't know of anyone being hurt, but it's an interesting situation for a Sunday morning."
BBC Weather's Emma Boorman said heavy and thundery showers had moved across the area and gusts of between 45 mph and 50 mph were reported.
She added: "The damage reported in Hayling Island is consistent with what you might expect from a small tornado, which is feasible in this weather situation."
One or two tornados are typically reported along England's south coast each year, BBC Weather said.