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Sunday, 27 October, 2002, 11:20 GMT
'Tornado' rips through houses
A tornado
Firefighters say tornados have hit Portsmouth before
More than 100 properties were damaged when a 'mini tornado' tore through a residential area of Hampshire.

The whirlwind hit an area of Portchester, tearing roofs off garages, blowing down garden walls and damaging the rooftops of many homes.

The winds also picked one entire garage completely off the ground before dumping it back down.

The freak winds hit at 1530 BST on Friday, as the UK entered a weekend of heavy rain and storm force winds.

Heavy winds

Assistant divisional officer Roger Cole, from Hampshire Fire Service, said no one had been injured during the tornado, that lasted several minutes.


Some of these winds even picked up a garage and put it down on its foundations again, moving it along an inch

Assistant divisional officer Roger Cole
Mr Cole said: "It certainly was a very strong wind so I believe it was a mini-tornado that went through the upper reaches of Portchester.

"Occasionally you will see a tornado spring up around here but not very often and you could never tell where one is going to happen next.

"There were over 100 properties affected in different locations."

Clearing debris

Fire crews from Portchester and Cosham in Portsmouth spent four hours clearing debris and ensuring that properties were safe.

"Fortunately I am not aware of any injuries, by the grace of God, because there was an awful lot of roofing material which ended up in the road," Mr Cole added.


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15 Oct 02 | England
22 Mar 02 | N Ireland
26 Jan 02 | England
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