What Larchville and Manor St John residents described as a mini-hurricane hit the area on Saturday evening, sending slates, ridge-tiles, chimney pots, television aerials and garden sheds flying and endangering passing motorists. Nearly two-dozen houses were damaged, seven seriously as terrified householders trembled indoors. “It was like the end of the world had arrived,” said one woman. Miraculously no-one was hurt.
Met Eireann confirmed the tornado struck the city just after 4pm, with severe thunder storms in the Waterford and south Wexford areas around that time.
Although tornados are not common in this country, a Met Eireann spokesperson said they are becoming more frequent, though none has been recorded at one of their weather stations to date.
Waterford City Council’s emergency response unit were immediately deployed to the scene to survey the damage and carry out urgent repairs. The 11-strong team had the properties fixed up within 24 to 48 hours.
Expert to investigate
Dr John Tyrell, head of TORRO, the Tornado Research Organisation based in the Department of Geography at UCC, is planning to conduct a site investigation in Waterford this week and would be delighted to hear from any eye-witnesses to last Saturday’s freak events (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Meanwhile, in Tramore a kite surfer sustained serious injuries when a tornado type gust lifted him off the beach and dumped him into a fence near the skateboard park at the end of the Prom.
Severe flooding affected parts of the county over the weekend, including Strandside South, Abbeyside on Saturday afternoon and the St Vincent De Paul House in Tramore.