Storm causes damage in Smith's

A freak storm pummelled houses on Town Hill Road in Smith's early yesterday, causing severe damage to several roofs and cars - although the Bermuda Weather Service has refused to confirm it was a tornado.

Large sections of slate from three separate houses were torn off by the violent winds, with the fragments left strewn across people's yards and driveways. It is understood that houses on the South Shore, Smith's were also damaged.

  • A volunteer throws a damaged piece of slate from a roof of a home on Town Hill Road, Smith's Parish.

    A volunteer throws a damaged piece of slate from a roof of a home on Town Hill Road, Smith's Parish.


A freak storm pummelled houses on Town Hill Road in Smith's early yesterday, causing severe damage to several roofs and cars - although the Bermuda Weather Service has refused to confirm it was a tornado.

Large sections of slate from three separate houses were torn off by the violent winds, with the fragments left strewn across people's yards and driveways. It is understood that houses on the South Shore, Smith's were also damaged.

Residents told The Royal Gazette they were awakened by a loud rumbling sound, while Harlean Saunders-Fox said she saw a “dark, clouded area” just outside of her front window as slate rained down off the roof.

“It sounded like a freight train going past,” she revealed.

Another resident, Sharon Scott - whose house survived unscathed - had just got up and was listening to the radio when the “incredible noise” started.

“It was completely out of the blue. One minute everything was quiet and the next these rumblings started. It was so powerful and so unexpected, we did not know which way to turn. Now it has passed though, we as a community are all going to help each other out cleaning up the mess.”

The house of Royal Gazette librarian Deborah Charles was directly in the storm's path.

“Everybody here is absolutely flabbergasted that there was such a large amount of damage in only around 15 seconds,” she said.

“It was like somebody was driving a truck on the roof. My mother opened the door a little after it had passed and she saw a big dark cloud and flashes of lightning heading out across Harrington Sound. It was very frightening.”

Police have confirmed nobody was injured, although four cars were extensively damaged by flying slate.

Firemen and Works and Engineering staff were busy throughout the morning covering the exposed roofs with waterproof tarpaulin and sweeping away debris.

Premier Alex Scott also made a surprise visit to the area shortly after 9 a.m, promising residents he would do “anything he could” to assist them - including the provision of new slate with which to mend their roofs.

Although many have assumed it was a tornado that ripped through the area in a matter of seconds, BWS spokesman Ian Currie argued it was more likely to have been a sudden localised storm caused by low-lying cumulonimbus clouds - which are enormous, dark clouds often associated with severe weather.

He conceded, however, that BWS radar had detected “severe atmospheric turbulence” around Town Hill Road at 6.30 a.m - the approximate time the violent winds struck.

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