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Families left to count the cost as storm hits homes

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 27, 2014

  • 26/01/14 Storm Damage Storm damage in Branston - Over 35 houses damaged on Nicklaus Cl, Faldo Cl, Fairway, Birkdale Ave, Langer Cl

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VILLAGERS were facing a huge repair bill today after a devastating storm left a trail of damage in its wake.

The intense storm, which lasted just 10 minutes from around 2pm on Saturday, hit homeowners with ‘deafening’ thunder, lighting, tornado-like winds and torrential rain and hail.

The Fairway area of Branston was thought to have been the worst-affected around Burton, with reports of roof tiles and fencing panels from 35 damaged homes ‘flying through the air’.

Families now face the prospect of repair bills totalling thousands of pounds.

One homeowner in Birkdale Avenue saw tiles smash into the roof of his parked car, while another, Carol O’Hara, told the Mail she had a ‘lucky escape’.

She said: “We think there must have been close to 25 tiles, including some very hefty ridge tiles, fly off our roof, many of which went towards my car.

“But somehow, they missed and are currently scattered around on my driveway. I was in my house with my 85-year-old mother when it started. We just couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Everyone we’ve spoken to living near us has lost multiple fence panels and roof tiles, not to mention the poor chap down the street who’s had his car damaged by debris.”

Langer Close resident Julie Hughes told the Mail: “We noticed first of all that it went incredibly dark. Then the thunder started to crack. Hail started to come down and, then, there was this almighty noise. Me, my son Daniel, and daughter, Bethany, watched as three fence panels blew away and smashed right in front of us.

“The kids’ trampoline started to get lifted off the ground and was bouncing up and down on the lawn and Daniel’s ride-on toy was flung across the garden. We lost 20 tiles from the house roof. Thank God there was no-one outside who was struck by debris. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say someone could’ve been killed.’’

The storm also delayed kick-off at the Pirelli Stadium, where Burton Albion’s League Two match with Fleetwood Town was suspended for an hour while standing water was cleared from the pitch.

Fire crews from Burton were kept busy removing debris and loose tiles from roofs, but there were no reports of injury.

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