EYE WITNESS REPORTS: Elderly Rugby residents thought their homes had been struck by lightening during the tornado which lasted just seconds

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ELDERLY residents were left terrified in their own homes after a tornado hit the town last night (Wednesday).

A number of parts of town were affected by the tornado last night, including a sheltered housing complex at the junction of Wentworth Road and Buchanan Road.

Roof and ridge tiles were blown off, garden fencing was blown over and TV aerials were bent and twisted or blown off.

One elderly resident thought her house had been hit by lightening.

According to eye witnesses the tornado suddenly appeared and only lasted a matter of seconds.

Roof tiles were ripped off and thrown to the ground with such force that they were embedded into the grass verges. One young girl walking along the footpath said she had to cling to a lamp post to prevent herself being blown over.

A man also walking along the footpath carrying an umbrella was spun around by the force of the wind.

A glass house was smashed with one shard of glass embedding itself into the tyre of a mobility scooter.

Witnesses said it was lucky that no one was injured by the blown tiles, glass and debris.

Cllr Bill Lewis (Lim Dem, Caldecott) said: “Many of the elderly residents of the sheltered accommodation were frightened by the noise and force of the tornado and subsequently worried about damage to the interior of their houses by the rain still falling and running into their lofts through the holes in their roofs.

“They were all visited by a Community Warden who made an assessment of their circumstances and contacted the council’s housing emergency number to arrange for help to make the roofs watertight. Friends, neighbours and relations of the residents arrived to help. They swept up and collected all the smashed tiles and other debris into a pile and those with ladders and some roofing skills did their best to patch up the roofs, They did a very good job.”

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