Tornado in Surrey forces people to flee their homes as it causes huge damage
A tornado ripped through parts of Surrey this morning, damaging homes and downing trees.
One neighbour said the windy blast was "like a plane taking off" as it tore through Chertsey and Shepperton.
Images posted on social media at around 10.30am show trees strewn across the road.
Runnymede Police said officers received "numerous reports" of trees down in Chertsey and the rest of the borough, Surrey Live reports .
Tracy Bramley, who was sat in her car when the tornado struck, said: "We’ve got a hole in our roof. It lasted less than a minute, it just started to gradually build.
"I was sat in my car at the time, it all changed really quickly, it started to whip up, I could feel my car beginning to rock a bit, it just came a bit out of nowhere really.
"At the end of the day nobody is hurt, it can all be repaired."
Paula Webb, who lives in the affected area, said: "All I can remember is it was really heavy rain, I looked outside and it was so dark, it sounded almost like it was a plane taking off, you could see the trees were literally bent over.
"It was over in seconds, I could just see tiles off roofs and all the fencing down."
Neighbour Jo Mason said: "It’s dented the bonnet of my new car, so not happy!
"I have got loads of dents on the bonnet. We were walking the dogs, when we came back the neighbours said ‘we’ve had a tornado’.
"It’s gone down Bittams Lane by the looks of it, it’s a bit of excitement."
Tim Readings, assistant group commander and incident commander at Surrey Fire and Rescue, said: "We got called here at about 10.30am to a report of a tornado. There are in excess of 20 houses with damaged roofs and 10 private cars that have been damaged by falling tiles. There are fences and trees down.
"We are using two aerial appliances, one from Leatherhead and one from Guildford, and firefighters from various stations to make it safe and remove any dangerous tiles and support residents, because obviously this has happened right before Christmas so we are doing everything we can.
"The residents have been great, very supportive."
A police statement says: "Please respect road closures to allow our partners to clear them; stay aware of possible further trees falling; drive carefully."
Chris Thornton, who lives in a cul de sac next to Bittams Lane, said: "Initially it was just like this, a normal, calm day, but then out of nowhere there was this rushing noise that developed into a roaring noise.
"I looked out the window and there was rain going past horizontally and it only lasted for about a minute or so.
"I thought I better come out and have a look – it was just a scene of devastation.
"It’s taken off a part of my roofing felt on the garage. The wind must have been circling, it’s as violent a wind as I have ever seen."
Bittams Lane resident Philip Passey, 61, said: "I was standing in the kitchen and suddenly the wind started up and I saw the leaves swirling – I thought, this isn’t right.
"Then the trampoline in the garden gets thrown against the house and the wind is making a huge noise.
"I see that my shed roof is gone and fence panels have been blown off.
"Outside my house a huge oak tree has come down.
"All of a sudden there was a huge roar and everything was flying around the garden.
"It was scary, I’ve never heard anything like it. My neighbour said he thought it was a tsunami, such was the roar.
"You freeze. You think you would run and hide but I just stood there watching.
"It’s afterwards that the shock sets in."
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