Tornado causes chaos in Ottershaw

A TORNADO that ripped through Ottershaw on Saturday saw residents still trying to clear debris today, with just two days to go before Christmas.

In total 26 houses, 13 cars and 4 garages were hit by the tornado with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) reporting a on varying degrees of damage, from dustbins flying across streets and gardens to heavily impacted roofs.

Residents survey the damage after the tornado had blown through

A spokesman for the fire service said: “SFRS sent 26 firefighters, four fire engines and two aerial appliances. We have worked closely with Surrey Police, Surrey County Council and Runnymede Council to make the buildings safe. Properties have also been checked by structural engineers.

“Most residents have been able to return to their homes and we have offered support to assist wherever possible.”

A wayward trampoline sits atop a garden shed having been deposited there by 70mph winds

There were reports of roads being closed due to fallen trees and branches in the Bittams Lane area of Chertsey, while house tiles were pulled from roofs around Clarendon Gate in Ottershaw and smashed into parked cars.

Some of the debris was also thrown across the M25 though there were no reports of damage to cars or motorists.

Heather Spencer was visiting her newly built house in a development off Brox Road in Ottershaw when the tornado struck.

“I had been in the house about two minutes where there was the most extraordinarily loud roar and there were all kinds of bangs and crashes going on outside. I went over to the showroom and the housing company representative and I just stood there completely stupefied by the whole thing.

The damaged section of Heather Spencer’s newly built roof

“A few tiles had been blown off my new house but we could see that there was damage on older house roofs as well and on one all the led cladding around the roof had been torn off and distorted. At least three trees had also been uprooted. What was really strange was the tornado had lasted barely a minute and then it was over and everything was calm and the sky, which had been black as I’d driven over, was completely blue.”

Heather who is still going ahead with her move from her home in Woodham to the house in Ottershaw as planned. Added: “I’m extremely lucky because the developers are getting someone to fix the tiles straightaway, they’ve been brilliant.”

The Met Office reported that there were wind speeds of up to 70mph at around 10.20am on Saturday morning in the tornado that reeked havoc in a matter of minutes. The shock weather chaos resulted in a series of video postings on social media and subsequent reports in national news coverage that included the 91 flood warnings and 237 flood alerts across the UK.

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