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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 19:47 GMT 20:47 UK
Villages hit by freak whirlwinds
Trees were uprooted in Aghalee
Trees were uprooted in Aghalee
Freak winds have brought down trees and damaged property in villages at either end of Lough Neagh in County Antrim.

Tiles were blown off roofs, windows were broken and a mobile home was overturned when storms hit Aghalee and Rasharkin just after 1330 BST.

Denise Greenan, who lives near Aghalee, said the wind had blown away her oil tank and also caused damage to her car.

"I looked out the back window and my child's sand pit had lifted up and blown away," she said.

"There was also a white car sitting and the back end of it lifted off the ground."

Edna McConnell, who lives at Derryola Island Lane in the village, said the mobile home which she had just moved out of four weeks ago was turned on its side by the gales.

The McConnell family recently moved out of this mobile home
The McConnell family recently moved out of this mobile home

"We lived in it for a year and a half while we were building our house and we just moved into the house four weeks ago," she said.

"I was just devastated when I came home from work and saw what had happened.

"I have never seen anything like this before, big trees that have been there for years and years were just pulled out by the root.

"It was very lucky that there was nobody injured."

Peter Bunting, who lives just outside Aghalee, said the wind had blown about one third of the tiles off his neighbour's house.

"I heard the noise and I thought it was my own roof, so I ran out the back and looked and my tiles were alright," he said.

"The next thing I could see was a whirlwind with a lot of debris with it."

The Road Service has cleared roads in the area which were blocked with fallen trees and other debris.

Meanwhile, what locals are describing as a "mini-tornado" blew down trees and damaged farm buildings in Rasharkin.

The Tamlaght Road outside the north Antrim village was also blocked for a time by fallen trees and branches.


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