'Mini tornado' brings down trees in Epsom

Trees crashed down in Hawks Hill Close, Fetcham. Photo: Ian Anderson

Trees crashed down in Hawks Hill Close, Fetcham. Photo: Ian Anderson

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A volatile storm, widely reported as a “mini tornado”, caused alarm and brought down trees in Epsom and surrounding areas on Saturday.

Trees crashed down on to Downs Road and a footpath parallel to Longmead Road, in Epsom, as well as Sutton Lane near Belmont during the ferocious wind and rain.

Sky News reported how a funnel-shaped formation was spotted above Epsom and other towns in Surrey.

A Met Office spokeswoman said sudden heavy showers and strong gusts of wind swept through Epsom between 4.30pm and 5pm.

She said: “It took some people by surprise, I think. It was more the intensity in a very short space of time. At the moment we have not recognised it as a tornado.

“It’s possible there may have been some small tornadoes because they are fairly common in the UK. It’s very difficult to verify them.”

Ian Anderson, from Hawks Hill Close, Fetcham, said: “The sky turned black, the rain and then hail started and shortly afterwards the wind whipped into a frenzy, at first moving our garden furniture from one side of the patio to the other and then the wind just seemed like it had lost control.”

He said two trees crashed down within inches of his house, adding: “It felt like we were in a war zone with all the sound.”

Caroline Baldock, who experienced congestion on Dorking Road, Epsom, said: “It was Saturday evening when the storm hit. There were strong gusts of wind.

“I had a job to get home because there were so many trees down.”

Councillor Neil Dallen, who lives in the centre of Epsom, said: “I heard the hail and the winds were a bit strong.”

Brian Angus, chairman of Ewell Residents’ Association, said a tree had blocked a footpath parallel to Longmead Road in Epsom.

Mr Angus said flooding outside Bourne Hall Park in the High Street, Ewell, remained this morning, adding: “It’s as high as it has ever been, it’s not going away.”

A Leatherhead firefighter said they were called to reports of a chimney stack blown off a property in Cobham during the freak winds just before 5pm on Saturday.

Surrey Police Roads Officers’ Twitter account said that two trees had come down near to Grandstand Road.

Did you experience extreme weather on Saturday? Please email your reaction and pictures to alice.foster@london.newsquest.co.uk.

 

TODAY'S HEADLINES IN EPSOM AND EWELL

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