Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Motorist terrified as 'tornado' strikes Waterford

An Irish motorist was left terrified when a freak mini-tornado blasted her car with debris.

Ann Scanlon was driving her new Renault Clio in Lisduggan, Waterford city, when it was bombarded by ridge and roof tiles. She said she felt lucky to be alive after the windscreen, rear window and side window of the car were smashed.



The car was also struck by a slate, putting a huge dent in the passenger side wing.



The freak weather took out chimneys, TV aerial, slates, tiles and even garden sheds, wreaking havoc in the Larchville and Manor St John areas of Waterford.



Met Eireann confirmed the tornado struck the city just after 4pm on Saturday afternoon. The weather service confirmed there were severe thunder storms in the Waterford and south Wexford areas around that time.



Although tornados are not common in Ireland, Met Eireann said they are becoming more frequent, but they have not recorded one at any of their weather station as yet.



A spokesman explained that tornados occur in stormy conditions and they expect more to be reported from the west of Ireland today.



Meanwhile, the country will be blasted by Arctic weather this week with hail, rain and possibly even snow in places.



And it is not going to get any better for motorists, with winds of up to 110kmh forecast and a wind warning for the whole country. The gale force winds are due to last all week, easing slightly on Wednesday. But the weather will remain very unsettled on Thursday and Friday.



Thunder and lightning is likely all over the country, with heavy downpours forecast for all areas, Met Eireann said.



Met Eireann said flooding is a possibility in places due to the constant rain, with the south the most likely area to be affected by floods. This area was particularly hard hit by persistent rain over the weekend.



Temperatures for the week are not expected to get up over nine or 10 degrees and could fall to zero at nights, with icy conditions likely.



Sleet showers from the North Atlantic storm hit border areas yesterday, with Clones in Monaghan particularly hard hit by a heavy shower lasting most of the afternoon. The icy barrage made for some difficult road conditions.



Although it was a busy sports weekend, few events were cancelled due to the storms.



The bad weather yesterday caused rough sea conditions, which saw last night's 9pm Irish Ferries Cruise Ferry sailing from Rosslare to Pembroke cancelled. The company expected sailings to resume this morning.

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