Coventry & Warwickshire

Galley Common families offered shelter after 'tornado'

Police said five properties in Hickman Road were badly damaged and a number of others had roof tiles blown off.
Image caption Police said five properties were badly damaged and a number of others had roof tiles blown off.

Families were offered shelter at a community hall overnight after a storm ripped through part of Warwickshire.

Roof slates were dislodged and car windows smashed due to the strong winds in Galley Common, near Nuneaton, at about 15:00 GMT on Saturday.

Police said five properties in Hickman Road were badly damaged and a number of others had roof tiles blown off.

People took shelter at the community hall at nearby St Peter's Church while safety checks were carried out.

One Galley Common resident, who asked not to be named, described the destruction as like a "mini tornado".

Image caption One Galley Common resident described the destruction as like a "mini tornado"

BBC Weather forecaster Laura Gilchrist said it was likely a small tornado had occurred but said this could not be confirmed without an expert visiting the site.

"Eye witness descriptions and photos of the damage suggest that an isolated small tornado could well have occurred, however without an expert visiting the site or footage or photos of the tornado itself, it cannot currently be confirmed that a tornado was responsible," she said.

Supt Martin Samuel said: "Thankfully, despite our initial fears, no one was injured as a result of the damage to the properties.

"The community hall at nearby St Peter's Church was made available for people to go to while structural engineers from Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council carried out safety assessments on the houses that had been damaged.

"The emergency services have been working with the local council to ensure the people affected by the storm damage have the support they need."

A spokesperson for Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said officers would be at St Peter's Church between 10:00 and 11:30 to offer advice, help and support to anyone affected.

Elsewhere in the region, a church and a number of houses were struck by lightning during Saturday's storm.

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