Storm Fergus leaves destruction as warnings end

Storm Fergus Leaves Destruction As Warnings End
Emergency services in Leitrim village as high winds flattened trees, ripped a roof off a building and left debris scattered on the street. Photo: PA Images
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Updated: 6.50am

Homes and cars in Leitrim village have been seriously damaged after a possible tornado hit the area.


Emergency services were called to the village on Sunday afternoon after high winds flattened trees, ripped a roof off a building and left debris scattered on a street.

Met Éireann meteorologist Liz Walsh said reports of a tornado in the area were “possibly correct” or “certainly some very high winds associated with the thunderstorm”.

She said the forecaster was relying on social media reports and videos to say for certain if it was a tornado.

She added: “In a thundercloud, the wind speed and direction can change as it goes up in the cloud, which causes rotation and if the funnel cloud is able to stretch all the way down to the ground that causes a tornado.


“It could also have been a straight line gust, it’s most likely one or the other, but people say they saw rotation.

“They’re not a very forecastable thing, it would only be there for a couple of minutes.”

The weather event came as much of the country was covered by yellow and orange warnings for wind during Storm Fergus.

A screengrab from a video showing the 'possible tornado' in Leitrim village. Photo Aoife Ni Ghaoithin/PA Wire

A witness to the possible tornado in Co Leitrim said his Jeep was pelted with debris as he drove through the storm.

Councillor Paddy Farrell said he was almost caught in the middle of the “tornado” while driving through Leitrim village.

“I was actually driving through the village myself. If I was a second slower I’d have been in the brunt of it,” 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.”


Mr Farrell, who lives near the village, said the wind took a roof off a building.

“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 to 20 cars damaged.”

He said emergency services were called and businesses near the scene had closed.


“No one was badly injured, but I think there were two minor injuries,” he said, adding: “I was actually shook when I came home to the house, because it was frightening – I kept going to get home as quick as I could.”

Storm Fergus was the second named storm of the weekend, coming soon after Storm Elin.

The UK Met Office also issued a series of weather warnings for parts of Scotland and northern England, but no warning was put in place for Northern Ireland.

Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page said Storm Fergus will conclude what has been an “unsettled weekend of weather for the UK”.

“Fergus will bring some strong winds and heavy rain for a time late on Sunday and into the early hours of Monday morning,” he said.

“While the strongest gusts are expected in the Republic of Ireland, Storm Fergus will bring some windy conditions to western areas, including Irish Sea coasts, while also bringing some potentially impactful rain.”

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