‘Mini tornado’ hits Glengormley homes

Roof tiles scattered across the gardens of homes in Ballyhenry Avenue.
Roof tiles scattered across the gardens of homes in Ballyhenry Avenue.
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Residents of the Ballyhenry and Dorchester areas of Glengormley are cleaning up after what has been described as a “mini tornado” hit the area this afternoon.

Several houses were badly damaged in the freak weather event.

More than half a dozen properties in Ballyhenry Avenue and neighbouring Dorchester were affected by the strong gusting wind, according to a local resident.

Ballyhenry man Gavin Robinson said “a mini tornado” hit the area at around 3.30pm.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. It literally only tasted about 10 or 15 seconds, but it absolutely wrecked the place,” he told the Times.

“At first we thought it was hailstones so we looked out and we couldn’t see any hail but we could hear the wind building up. The patio furniture blew down the garden and the fence nearly blew down.”

Trees on Ballyhenry Road were blown over, fences were damaged and tiles were lifted off the roofs of several homes.

“I went out to check for damage and I could see that a lot of the ridge tiles had come off the neighbour’s house. The house beside us, his roof is pretty much wrecked. All the ridge tiles are away and a lot of the slates have slid off into the garden. There are about five houses in our street damaged and some in Dorchester as well. I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Mr Robinson added.

There were strong winds and heavy rain across Northern Ireland today as storm Abigail battered parts of the UK.