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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 12:17 GMT
Birmingham's hard tornado lesson
Alder Road, Balsall Heath after the tornado had struck
Roofs were ripped off houses
People living in Birmingham's suburbs will know how the residents of Kensal Rise are feeling.

Eighteen months ago homes were wrecked and trees uprooted when 130mph winds whipped through Kings Heath, Moseley, Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath.

At least 420 homes were hit - 122 had serious roof damage and 80 suffered dangerous structural damage.

Many residents had to find other places to stay - all have now returned but some were away for more than a year.

Two streets took the full force of the storm.

Almost every roof in Birchwood Road was ripped off and part of adjoining Alder Road was still closed 12 months later.

Alder Road, Balsall Heath
Alder Road did not fully reopen for more than a year

The exact cost of repairs has been hard to calculate, but Birmingham City Council said it was looking at a 260m 10-year regeneration programme as a result of the tornado.

However, the government was accused of being too slow in its response to the council's request for financial aid.

Some residents accused the council of focusing too much assistance on the city's balti-belt - any area of restaurants - which was badly damaged.

Many people, facing insurance problems, coped by forming their own associations.

Derek Inman, who formed one such association, said he and other residents collected money and items such as soft furnishings from local businesses and charities for up to eight months after the tornado.

"My advice to people in London now would be to get together as a community. Form an association, contact local charities and get things moving," he said.

'It's been a year and we are tired'
27 Jul 06 |  West Midlands
Tornado response 'was too slow'
01 Feb 06 |  West Midlands
Tornado area's 260m revamp plans
05 Jan 06 |  West Midlands
Is Brum Britain's tornado alley?
13 Oct 05 |  West Midlands
Second tornado strikes Birmingham
12 Oct 05 |  West Midlands
In pictures: Birmingham tornado
28 Jul 05 |  In Pictures
Tornado injures 19 in Birmingham
28 Jul 05 |  West Midlands


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