HAINAULT ‘TORNADO’: Schoolgirl tells of drama as storm hits

PUBLISHED: 15:36 04 January 2012 | UPDATED: 16:34 04 January 2012

Debris littered the roof of an outbuilding at the home of Jessica's friend

Debris littered the roof of an outbuilding at the home of Jessica's friend


Dramatic personal accounts about the “tornado” that struck Hainault have been flooding into the Recorder since the freak winds hit just after noon yesterday.

Schoolgirl Jessica Cassidy, 13, was left “petrified” at a friend’s house in The Lowe when the storm struck and tore off the roof, leaving a supporting wall dangerously lop-sided.

Here she gives Recorder readers her first hand account of what happened: “I didn’t see at first as I was in a moment of shock, but when I did look all I could see was plant pots and bits of roof tiles flying around in a circle and then smashing. I could feel the floor vibrating.

“I was with my friend Sophie and her nan Carol. We were all petrified and couldn’t believe it. After an hour or so I went outside and had a look – it was a complete disaster.”

It was only then, as she started to take the photographs shown here, that Jessica looked up to the roof of the house and realised the danger she was still in.

She continued: “I noticed holes in the roof, and we found that there were hardly any tiles left and we could see the sky from the loft.

“A few builders, firemen, and councillors had noticed the wall was tilted and the house was in danger so they had to get a temporary place to stay in and that is my house.”

Remarkably no one was seriously hurt by the wind which damaged 19 houses and caused as yet incalculable damage to cars and property as it ripped through a number of Hainault streets.

For a full coverage of the Hainault “tornado”, and exclusive pictures, see tomorrow’s Ilford Recorder.

If you have a story to tell following yesterday’s “tornado”, email, or call 020 8477 3800.

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