It was like a freight train coming through'

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A twister ripped through parts of Pembroke, Hamilton, Southampton and Warwick parishes on Saturday morning, ripping the roofs off of some homes and causing power outages.

The Bermuda Weather Service said that “tornadic-activity” had occurred, however a tornado usually forms in the presence of thunderstorms, which the Island had not experienced yesterday, said Meteorologist Kimberley Zuill.

  • A fireman looks at the damaged roof of a house on Euclid Avenue.

    A fireman looks at the damaged roof of a house on Euclid Avenue.


A twister ripped through parts of Pembroke, Hamilton, Southampton and Warwick parishes on Saturday morning, ripping the roofs off of some homes and causing power outages.

The Bermuda Weather Service said that “tornadic-activity” had occurred, however a tornado usually forms in the presence of thunderstorms, which the Island had not experienced yesterday, said Meteorologist Kimberley Zuill.

“We went out to look at the damage to the roofs and there was debris that was twisted and that is evidence that there was tornadic-activity.

“There are minor differences in the types of twisters but all of their effects are damaging. The evidence is that it was some form of a twister,” she added.

Christine DeSilva, head teacher from Saltus Junior School, was preparing to begin Tumble Tots class in the school gym when just after 9 a.m. the winds picked up

“It had started raining and it was coming down quite heavily. It sounded like the hurricane and within ten seconds the wind had blown and we heard this roar,” Mrs. DeSilva recalled.

“I rushed to my office to call the Fire department and I went to push open the door but the roof had fallen in,” she added.

Part of the roof of the administration building, which is on the north side of the school closest to Woodlands Road, was lost and tarpaulins now drape across the gaping hole.

Outside in the courtyard, plastic chairs and furniture were tossed around.

“We were very, very lucky that no one was outside,” said Mrs. DeSilva.

Just below the school on Euclid Avenue, the Galloway and Shabazz families were out in their debris littered lawn yesterday afternoon cleaning up after the tornado ripped off part of their roof.

Sharilyn Shabazz, who lives in the back apartment attached to her parent's home, said the roof damage occurred in the front part of the house.

“It was like freight train coming through,” she said.

With the help of the Bermuda Fire Service and the Bermuda Regiment, the family was able to get their roof covered.

“We really wanted to thank the Fire service and all of our neighbours and the Regiment who came and helped us clean up,” Mrs. Shabazz said.

Karen Lottimore also thanked the Regiment after they helped secure her damaged roof:

“I was impressed with them, they were very efficient and very nice.”

Ms. Lottimore had just finished walking her dogs and was sitting at her kitchen table when her lights began to flicker and then the wind blew in her window.

“Everything was flying around my house. I said, ‘what the devil is going on', and then it was over.”

Ms Lottimore went outside to find that the slate and part of the roof had fallen onto her car, damaging the front and back windshield.

Residents across the Island who experienced the fierce winds said it only lasted a few seconds, but the sky got very white and everything was calm and still after.

Belco reported 600 outages after losing two circuits in Camp Hill, Southampton and Belmont and reported wires down at Scenic Heights, Southampton.

Spokeswoman Linda Smith said everyone was back up by early Saturday afternoon. She added that workers at Belco's operation centre saw the twister coming across from the Saltus Grammar School area and they reported that the building shook after one corner was hit.

The Fire Service received five calls concerning damage and the Police Service reported 13 calls for assistance but neither reported injuries.

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