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Sunday, 7 October, 2001, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Tornado shakes holiday homes
Tornado
Tornados need certain weather conditions to form
A mini-tornado has torn roofs from houses and thrown sheds and boats into the air in a Norfolk village.

The tornado lasted for just 15 seconds but created a column of debris half a mile high as it swept across the Norfolk Broads.

Wooden houses used as holiday homes in Potter Heigham were badly damaged, and electricity poles and telephone lines were brought down.

Graeme Coles, 26, and his grandmother Kath Taylor were preparing the family's riverside holiday home for visitors when the winds hit on Saturday afternoon.


The cows stampeded when the wind started and it picked them up - someone mentioned about them being in the air

Graeme Coles

He said: "We were having a cup of tea and just looking at the trees and saw this blast of wind coming up.

"It got stronger and stronger. The windows rattled and the floor was shaking, it was like an earthquake.

"Out of the corner of my eye I saw something flying past the window and thought it was either my boat or next door's roof.

"Our shed crashed and some of it was carried quarter of a mile across the fields.

Trees uprooted

"Our sailing dingy, which was in the garden, got lifted up over a fence, which is about five-feet high, and over to the other side.

"My grandmother said it was like being in the blitz.

"When I came out of the house the cows in the field were standing absolutely rigid. Speaking to other people they said the cows stampeded when the wind started and it picked them up - someone mentioned about them being in the air."

Mr Coles, from Great Bentley, near Colchester, Essex, said two of the wooden holiday homes had lost roofs and another many roof tiles.

Norfolk Police said there were no injuries, but they had received reports of trees being uprooted and roofs lifted off barns.

In the villages of Repps and Bastwick, the fire service said it helped repair damage to 17 buildings.


Click here to go to BBC Norfolk Online
See also:

06 Aug 01 | Americas
Florida flood alert as storm strikes
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