Reports of tornado striking village

By Isaac M December 11, 2023

Homes and cars have been seriously damaged and police have told the public to “avoid the area” after a possible tornado hit an Irish village.

Officers in Ireland said the village of Leitrim in County Leitrim was “closed” while emergency services responded to the incident.

There were no reports of anyone being seriously injured, they added, but footage on social media appeared to show a tornado sweeping through.

Pictures were shared of damaged vehicles and buildings in the aftermath.

A resident, Eileen Gibbons, said it was a miracle no one was badly hurt.

“We are so shocked, it seems unbelievable,” she told Sky News.

Pic: Willie Donnellan
A building’s roof was torn off. Pic: Willie Donnellan/Leitrim Observer

She said witnesses had seen the possible tornado “come up the canal, they saw water rising up, and then it took down trees in its wake”.

She added: “It’s taken a roof off one building, and hit the back of a bar-restaurant and took out the smoking area there, and did a lot of damage.

“The iron roof from our shed just got blown up in the air, we don’t even know where it is – it’s just gone.”

A Garda spokesperson said emergencies services were attending the incident in Leitrim and “the village is closed”.

“Please avoid the area and be patient while emergencies services deal with the incident,” the spokesperson added.

Pic: Willie Donnellan/Leitrim Observer
A boat in the village of Leitrim was flipped over. Pic: Willie Donnellan/Leitrim Observer

Another witness, Paddy Farrell, told the PA news agency he was almost caught in the middle of the “tornado”.

He said: “I was driving my Jeep. It sounded as if there was a crowd pegging stones at my Jeep as I was driving through, with all the debris that was flying around.

“It just happened all of a sudden.”

He added: “There was a roof taken off a building, and there was several buildings damaged. Even on fairly new apartments there was a damage, I think the window blew in on one of them.

“There’s a lot of cars damaged, there could be 10-20 cars damaged.”

Meteorologist Liz Walsh for Met Eireann, the Irish Meteorological Service, said reports of a tornado in the area were “possibly correct” or “certainly some very high winds associated with the thunderstorm”.

The Irish weather service has issued yellow rain warnings across large swathes of Ireland as Storm Fergus continues to bring strong winds and rain.

Weather warnings in place for the UK on Sunday 10 December
Weather warnings in place for the UK on Sunday 10 December

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The UK’s Met Office has warned heavy rain will continue across Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of England and Wales on Sunday evening.

It has put in place yellow rain warnings for parts of Scotland and northern England.

They include a warning covering an area stretching from Carlisle to Sheffield which came into force at 5pm and runs through to 3am on Monday morning.

It warns of the possibility of flooding and potential disruption to transport.

Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said conditions will hopefully turn drier and more settled in the second half of next week.

Storm Fergus is the second storm named by forecasters in Ireland this weekend.

On Saturday, Storm Elin brought strong winds and heavy downpours to parts of the UK and Ireland.

Manchester was particularly affected, with train services from Piccadilly cancelled after an overhead line “exploded”.


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