Derby

Alfreton tornado brings couple together one year on

Damage caused by mini-tornado Image copyright Derbyshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption The tornado tore Mr Sitch's roof away from the building and into a neighbour's garden

A man who had part of his home destroyed after a tornado hit a town in Derbyshire said it has resulted in the happiest period of his life.

The roof of William Sitch's house in Catherine Street, Alfreton, was ripped off when the whirlwind wreaked havoc on 8 October 2014.

With nowhere to live, he moved in with a childhood friend and in February they were engaged to be married.

His partner's son said the twister "had been a blessing" for the couple.

Oli Constable, 20, said Mr Sitch, 51, and his mother, Sandra, aged 51, had already been reunited before the high winds but were living separately.

He said following the tornado, which the Met Office said was caused by "volatile and unstable air", the pair moved in together.

Image caption William Sitch's house on the corner of Catherine Street lost its entire roof in the tornado

Mr Constable said after the initial shock, Mr Sitch was pragmatic about the damage to his house.

He said: "Nothing really fazes him, he was a bit like 'let's move on'.

"It's been the best thing that ever happened to him... [He and my mother] are now together and they're happy."

Mr Sitch told BBC Radio Derby: "We ended up spending so much time together we [now] don't want to be parted.

"[On the day of the tornado] I slowly walked towards [the scene] and realised it was my house that was roofless. [I had feelings of] disbelief and panic, did I renew my insurance?"

Along with Mr Sitch's house, a number of homes and vehicles were damaged by flying bricks and debris.

Witnesses described a "film scene" as the tornado ripped down lampposts and trees in Mansfield Road and Catherine Street.

Mr Sitch's roof and supporting wall have since been repaired but he is now living in Chesterfield.

Image copyright Derbyshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption Other properties in Mansfield Road and Catherine Street lost roof tiles

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