NEW details of the devastation caused by the Storm Ciarán tornado have been revealed in an interim report on the freak weather event.
Homes were destroyed, businesses wrecked and three people were injured as the twister carved an 8km trail of destruction across the east of the Island at about midnight on 1 and 2 November.
The UK-based Tornado and Storm Research Organisation previously graded it as a T6 on the Tornado Intensity Scale, making it the strongest to hit the British Isles for almost 70 years.
The organisation has now published a detailed report on the damage at every location along the twister’s track after visiting the Island the weekend after the storm.
It is known that the tornado formed over the sea off the south coast and was 550 metres wide when it entered the Island, although it was weak around its edges.
The tornado then narrowed to about 200 metres as it tracked north-east through St Clement – coating some areas in sand which it had sucked up on the beach – and exited the Island at Fliquet before dying away over the sea.
It also varied greatly in intensity – and appeared to be at its strongest in the Boulivot area, where it caused extensive damage to homes.
The report also revealed that:
Wooden beams weighing 100kg from the Geoff Reed Table Tennis Centre were thrown 150 metres across the FB Fields, with some landing in gardens.
A clothes recycling bank in the same area rolled onto a car and came to rest 40 metres away.
A lump of concrete from a building near Grouville football club travelled 35 metres north-west and into the roof of another home before landing in a bedroom.
A car at the same property was flung 25 metres through the air – clearing a line of shrubs – before landing on its roof and coming to rest on its wheels. An old fuel tank landed in its garden after being thrown 160 metres from a neighbour’s house.
Several caravans at Beuvelande campsite in St Martin were destroyed and a motorhome had its front cabin ripped off and thrown 80 metres.
And a car parked at St Catherine’s Woods was picked up and deposited 20 metres away down a slope.
The report documents the substantial damage at Fliquet, where three cottages had their roofs ripped off. One section of flat roof was found 100 metres away to the north, while patio doors from the home penetrated a garage 60 metres away and severely dented the car inside.
Sarah Horton, the TORRO site investigator who flew to Jersey to assess the devastation, said: ‘When you look at the damage to people’s homes, and hear reports of how debris was flying over them as they were in their beds, I am astounded that more people were not injured.
“It definitely varied in intensity along its track, which is very common for tornadoes. There were pockets of very severe damage and then there were areas where there was less, but it was still a significant and life-changing event for the people whose houses it hit.
“I think it was at its strongest at Boulivot, where there was some really significant damage.”
She added: “In many ways the Island was unlucky, because if it had formed slightly further away it would have passed over the sea and we probably would have never known it had formed.
“And Fliquet was really, really unlucky – if it had been just a couple of hundred metres in another direction they wouldn’t have been affected at all.”
TORRO’S final report into the twister is expected to be published in the new year, and the organisation is encouraging people to come forward with their personal accounts of how the tornado affected them.
Anyone who wants to make a submission is being asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.