A mini tornado ripped roofs off garages and tiles from homes, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
People were stunned when the twister descended on Segundo Road in Delves, Walsall.
Asbestos roofs on two private garages were torn off by strong gusts, while tiles from three houses were damaged. Debris flew off, smashing the rear windscreen of one car. Residents were surveying the damage and starting the clear up today.
Fire crews were called to the scene at just after 6pm last night and secured the tiles before calling out a building control engineer from Walsall Council.
Builder Neil Worley says he was baking cakes with his three-year-old daughter Ruby when the twister struck, lifting up to a dozen tiles from his home.
It is thought it was debris from Mr Worley’s roof that smashed the window of the car parked on his next-door neighbour’s drive.
“There was a downpour of rain and what sounded like a massive gust of wind,” said the 32-year-old father-of-one.
“I then saw loads of people outside looking at my house. There was debris everywhere from trees. I can’t explain how I felt at the time – you just don’t expect it to happen.”
Mother-of-three Kamaldip Kaur was another resident affected by the twister.
Around four ridge tiles fell from Miss Kaur’s roof, causing damage to the roof below.
“Apparently it was a mini tornado,” said Miss Kaur, aged 37.
Watch commander for West Bromwich Fire Station, Trevor Parkes, said: “It was a twister – a complete freak of nature.
“The last time I knew of something like this happening around here was in Stratford Road in Birmingham about five or six years ago.”
Andrew Ely, aged 48, of Stirrup Close, had the roof of his garage completely ripped off by the mini tornado.
He normally keeps his car in the garage but was fortunately out at the time. Today he was beginning a clear up operation.
The only goods in his garage were a few tins of paint, a bicycle and other DIY materials.
He said: “I got off very lucky. I’ve only had my car eight weeks and it would have been crushed. I got back about 7.30pm last night and the fire brigade were here.
“Compared to some people I’ve got off lightly and the insurance should cover it. I’ve heard stories of house tiles coming off and wheelie bins flying through the air.
“I consider myself very fortunate as I only had a few bits of bric-brac in the garage.”
Mrs Raj Kaur, aged 36, added: “It started about 5pm and and we felt it come from the front of the house to the back.
“We saw the neighbour’s roof starting to move. It was like something you see on the TV from America.
“It was scary and seem to last about 15 minutes.”
And, around 100 homes were damaged by a tornado on Hayling Island in Hampshire yesterday.
Properties in two residential streets were damaged by high winds at about 8am.
The high winds ripped off roofs and trees were felled.