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Resident says houses are in a state of ‘absolute disaster after tornado’

A damaged roof in Stalybridge (Richard McCarthy/PA)
A damaged roof in Stalybridge (Richard McCarthy/PA)

A village resident has told of houses in states of “absolute disaster” after a “localised tornado” hurtled through a town in Greater Manchester.

Strong gusts whipped through Stalybridge, in Tameside, on Wednesday, damaging around 100 properties, according to the council.

No injuries were reported but many residents were forced to leave their homes.

Hayley McCaffer, who lives with her partner in the village of Carrbrook, told the PA news agency that they have been “fairly lucky” compared with some of their neighbours.

Ms McCaffer, 40, said: “Some of the neighbours’ houses are an absolute disaster – the roof missing, gable ends gone, cars squished with all the stone that’s come off the houses.

“Luckily for us, very luckily, we were in the pub last night when it happened.

“We weren’t here, but also we had parked our car there and looking at the state of our driveway – one of the walls has come down – we were very lucky that it wasn’t parked there because it would have not been in a good state today.”

She said she was alerted to the “tornado” by a phone call from her mother, who lives locally and whose roof was partially ripped off by winds before parts landed on her car.

Emergency services were cordoning off the area when Ms McCaffer and her partner arrived back at their home, and they allowed them to enter and collect some essentials.

“It was dark so we could see big piles of debris and people’s bits of houses missing,” she told PA.

A damaged gate in Stalybridge
A damaged wall and gate in Stalybridge (Richard McCarthy/PA)

She and her partner were “evacuated” and remain unsure when they will be able to get back into their home.

“But we were safe and that was the main thing,” she added.

“We’ve got insurance, hopefully that will be covered.

“And, you know, when things like this happen, there’s lots of people who are worse off than us, so we can’t really complain too much.”

Patricia Watkinson, who also lives in Carrbrook, was away in Norfolk when gusts swept through the village but was told by a neighbour that apart from a “dangling” aerial her home appears undamaged.

The 83-year-old told the PA news agency: “I’m glad I wasn’t there.

“My neighbour, she just rang me, and her shed is gone and the fence is gone. Hopefully, all that is wrong with mine is the aerial dangling.”