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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 14:20 GMT
Battered homes to be demolished
Destruction caused by tornado
The tornado lasted only a minute Photo by Ian Carter

Some of the homes hit by the tornado which swept through north-west London will have to be demolished and others remain too dangerous to enter.

More than 100 homes were damaged and about 20 were left uninhabitable when the storm hit Kensal Rise on Thursday.

Insurance assessors are continuing to assess the damage which is expected to cost millions of pounds to repair.

Brent Council said it was working to get people back in their homes as soon as possible but safety was a priority.

"A lot of residents decided they would rather go and stay with family and friends," a Brent Council spokeswoman said.

"Overnight the fire brigade was working to ensure that the area was safe. There is still a lot of debris on the ground."

Quite dangerous

Brent Council borough surveyor Andy Hardy said: "There are a number of houses with severe structural damage and some may have to be shored up or demolished.

"At the moment we are expecting further severe weather so we are not going to send any contractors in to shore up until we are sure the weather is not going to create further mayhem."

Residents were given details about the most badly damaged properties at a meeting on Friday morning.

There are problems with roofs and chimneys teetering
Irfan Malik, Brent Council

They were told that Crediton Road and Chamberlayne Road should open later on Friday but Whitmore Gardens will take "a lot longer".

Irfan Malik, of Brent Council, said: "There are 20 properties in total that we believe are uninhabitable and some of them are in fact quite dangerous.

"There are problems with roofs and chimneys teetering."

He also advised those who were told they could return home to wear hard hats when walking around their properties.

"The walls have collapsed, there are tiles on top of the roofs which may be sort of stuck in the gutters and may come loose if you try to go round and start cleaning up," he said.

Police patrols

Residents from the most badly damaged houses were also told that they would be able to return, with hard hats and protective clothing, to collect their personal belongings.

Damaged roof. Photo by Joe C
Up to 150 homes have been affected. Photo by Joe C

Police officers have been stationed at the cordons to ensure the affected properties are secure.

The roof of one house was ripped off, debris was sent flying and trees in the streets were uprooted.

Six roads were sealed off after the emergency services were called to the area at 1100 GMT on Thursday.

The tornado was rated as a T4 on a scale of one to 10 with winds exceeding 100mph (160km/h).


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