Norfolk tornado-like high wind damages homes

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image captionThe cottage has lost about a quarter of its tiles

Tornado-like winds damaged a cottage and two other properties in Norfolk as storms and heavy rain lashed the county on Wednesday afternoon.

Power cables were brought down by falling trees in the downpour and debris was sent flying by strong winds.

The freak high wind targeted the home of Jenny and Nick Griffiths at Winfarthing, near Diss.

"Then suddenly out of nowhere the wind made the whole house shake," Mr Griffiths said.

He was upstairs at the time and said the wind suddenly turned into a "massive maelstrom and I was watching all the debris flying round".

His wife was in an outside workshop, which she described as a "fairly flimsy building".

"I heard the wind like a train coming through. It took the parasol out of the garden table and it landed on the roof."

image captionTrees and electricity cables were brought down as tornado-like winds swept across Norfolk

The cottage has lost about a quarter of its tiles, which crashed onto a conservatory causing considerable damage, the couple said.

Cables supplying power to the village were also brought down by falling trees, causing damage to two other properties either side of them.

"It seems the tornado was concentrated on our home," Mr Griffiths said.

Adam Drury of Norwich-based Weatherquest said very strong winds had been reported "but they could only be described as a tornado if they made contact with the ground".

image captionDrains had been cleared in Beatrice Road in Norwich but the heavy rain still brought flooding

Floods also affected other parts of Norfolk. The fire service reported they had been called out by dozens of residents whose homes have been affected.

Homes in Norwich city centre, Shelfangar near Diss, and East Harling were all affected by the heavy rain.

Anglian Water said drain clearance projects had been carried out over the past year and this had alleviated some problems, but the work involved several other agencies.

"We are carrying out design work and expect to begin improvements from January 2016, with project completion by April 2018," a spokesman said.

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