Bizarre mini tornado hits Wexford Farm house and shed – ‘If there had been anyone in the yard they could have been killed’

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A bizarre mini-tornado hit a house and farm shed in Killag, Duncormick in Wexford on Tuesday night, sucking up dormers, bending steel beams and shattering roof tiles.

Luckily there was no one in the yard at the time or they could have been killed,” said Nick White, a farmer and agricultural entrepreneur, who lives opposite the site of the famous Bannow and Rathangan Show.

He was woken around midnight by a loud noise that sounded like heavy thunder directly overhead, but he didn’t discover the damage to his property until early the next morning when he went outside.

“He had to work around the side of the shed as he lifted heavy wooden fertilizer pallets which were stacked against the shed and carried them high in the air – one of them was lying about 150 meters away in the field showroom across the road,” he said.

“One pallet landed on a hedge and another on the roof of the house damaging the slates and felt and other pallets were thrown around the place. A large skylight and two side windows in the shed were sucked out – there was no debris inside He even bent the steel trusses of the shed.

“There was no trace of the skylights left inside. They were lifted into the air, which shows the strength of the suction. Luckily, no one was in the yard or they could have been injured or If he had disappeared through the house, it might have been a different story.

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The missing skylight in the farm building.

The missing skylight in the farm building.

“The roof of the hangar is bulging about six inches and the main hangar door was also bent inwards with the force of the suction from above. The purlins in the frame were bent upwards.

“When I walked around the back of the house in the morning there were slates and pallets on the floor and I didn’t realize what had happened at first,” Nick said.

“It must have been a tornado. I was waiting to hear about it elsewhere in the locality but there were no other reports. I would say it was going south to north but there were no damage elsewhere in the Region.

“It’s flat ground here. The wind farm is close to us but there doesn’t seem to be any damage to the windmills. I’d say it happened within seconds. You can see from the path of the hawthorns uprooted and broken branches and bushes where he passed through a side ditch in the show field into the next field.

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Some of the house roof damage caused by a flying wooden pallet.


Some of the house roof damage caused by a flying wooden pallet.

Some of the house roof damage caused by a flying wooden pallet.

“We’re lucky because we have a lot of cornfields ready to cut and from what I can see so far, I don’t think it’s crossed them.”

Nick said he would often see whirlwinds in the fields while performing agricultural contracts on land, but he thinks it was definitely a tornado due to its strength.

“The pallets weigh around 40-50kg and you would have had to pull them very high in the air to land where they landed. It would have taken a lot of force.

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The heavy pallet was lifted above a large farm shed on the roof of the house.


The heavy pallet was lifted above a large farm shed on the roof of the house.

The heavy pallet was lifted above a large farm shed on the roof of the house.

“Our house is on the other side of the shed which is 30ft high and 100ft long and it would have taken a lot of strength to lift pallets that far across the shed on the roof of the house. The pallet that landed on the roof came from parked cars and jeeps.

“The noise woke me up. It was like the shaking of thunder. The house was almost shaking. It must have been very localized because we had the recycling bin on the road for collection in the morning and it wasn’t waved and there was a pallet of empty spray cans in the yard that didn’t move. It must have been a tornado.


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