Stalybridge, Greater Manchester - In the aftermath of Storm Gerrit's rampage across the United Kingdom, a tornado has wreaked havoc in Stalybridge, Tameside, destroying approximately 100 homes and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The tornado struck after Storm Gerrit unleashed high winds and snowfall in parts of Scotland, with thousands of homes losing power, intensifying the post-Christmas challenges faced by residents.
Local authorities have confirmed that no injuries were reported in the tornado, which they believe was a localized event. Greater Manchester Police declared the situation a major incident due to the severity of the damage and potential risks to public safety. Chief Superintendent Mark Dexter issued a statement revealing that numerous residents had been displaced from their homes overnight, emphasizing the priority of keeping people safe.
"Our highest priority is keeping people safe, which is why we are advising those who have been displaced not to return or enter their properties until they have been assessed by structural engineers," said Chief Superintendent Dexter. He urged the public to avoid the affected area, citing debris on roads and ongoing safety concerns.
The incident in Stalybridge compounds the travel chaos caused by Storm Gerrit, with major disruptions in both road and railway networks. The Environment Agency issued 19 flood alerts across England as flooding is still expected. Train operators LNER and Avanti West Coast advised customers against travel due to the weather, while Network Rail Scotland imposed speed restrictions. East Midlands Railway reported service cancellations into London, and Thameslink trains experienced delays amid the extreme weather conditions.
As the affected areas grapple with the aftermath, the situation remains dynamic, and authorities are working to assess the extent of the damage. The recovery efforts are underway, but the uncertain timeline for returning the area to normalcy adds to the challenges faced by residents and travellers alike. Further updates will be communicated as the situation develops, and residents are urged to exercise caution and heed official advice to ensure their safety in the wake of this unexpected natural disaster.
Edited by: Victoria Muzio
Photo credit: Johannes Plenio
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