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‘Localised tornado’ damages homes in Greater Manchester

A “localised tornado” has caused significant damage to properties in Greater Manchester as Storm Gerrit swept Britain.

The storm brought heavy snow across parts of Scotland which, along with high winds and heavy rain, damaged electricity networks in the country as fallen trees, branches and other debris brought down power lines.

It also wreaked havoc on the travel network with a string of train operators, including ScotRail, LNER and Avanti West Coast, suspending and terminating some services, as well as advising customers not to travel.

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

A “localised tornado” is believed to have caused “significant damage” to homes in Stalybridge, Tameside, Greater Manchester.

“Numerous reports” were made to police at around 11.45pm yesterday and the force declared a major incident due to the “severity” of the damage caused and the potential risk to public safety.

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

Chief Superintendent Mark Dexter said: “This incident has undoubtedly affected numerous people in the Stalybridge area with many residents displaced from their properties during the night.

“Our highest priority is keeping people safe which is why we are advising those who have been displaced not to return or enter their properties which have significant damage until they have been assessed by structural engineers.”

The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation said a detailed site investigation would need to be undertaken before it can confirm the damage was caused by a rare British tornado

He added: “I would also like to urge members of the public to avoid the area where possible and take extra care when travelling in vehicles on the roads in Stalybridge and the surrounding areas, due to debris in the road.”

The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation said a detailed site investigation would need to be undertaken before it can confirm the damage was caused by a rare British tornado.


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