Father describes mini-tornado

A WOODBRIDGE father today described how his two-year-old son watched in horror as his play house was blown away by a mini-tornado.Yogesh Patel, who owns Warwick Convenience Store in Warwick Avenue could not believe it when he came home to find the devastation caused by the freak weather on Monday night.

A WOODBRIDGE father today described how his two-year-old son watched in horror as his play house was blown away by a mini-tornado.

Yogesh Patel, who owns Warwick Convenience Store in Warwick Avenue could not believe it when he came home to find the devastation caused by the freak weather on Monday night.

The strong winds that hit the row of shops along Warwick Avenue, as well as a few houses, swept roof tiles off, damaged greenhouses and destroyed garden furniture.

Mr Patel's parents were looking after his two-year-old son Dylan when a black cloud descended on the street at about 6.30pm. In a scene reminiscent of the Wizard Of Oz, the toddler watched as his play house was picked up and blown across the garden.

Mr Patel, 34, said: “Dylan's plastic playhouse was lifted up and thrown about 40 feet across the garden before it smashed into a wall. It is completely broken. He watched the whole thing from the patio windows and was crying. He has only had it since March so we will have to get him a new one. It was very scary for him.

“My dad was working in the shop at the time and didn't know anything had happened until someone came in and told him tiles were falling off the roof.”

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Along with a swing bench and other garden furniture, Mr Patel estimates the damage could exceed £500, excluding the cost to replace the 15 roof tiles that were blown off.

The family, who have lived at the shop for 18 years, say they have never seen anything like this.

The pub next door, The Warwick, also experienced damage, with several tiles falling off, and work to repair the roof was being carried out yesterday .

One eyewitness said: “The whole roof practically came off.”

Another nearby neighbour Kate Wheeler added: “I just happened to be upstairs closing the curtains when I saw this big black cloud and it was really noisy for a few minutes. It was really scary. You don't expect this sort of thing to happen in this country.”

Other neighbours also reported hearing loud crashes as the mini-tornado ripped across one side of the street.

What was your experience of the freak weather? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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