School Staff Helped Alfreton Tornado Victims

Council bosses in Derbyshire say the quick thinking of school staff and volunteers following yesterday's tornado were vital to helping victims.

The tornado hit homes in Catherine Street and Mansfield Road in Alfreton at 3.30pm on Wednesday 8th October.

Four were seriously affected and 30 more properties and cars were damaged by flying bricks and debris. No one was injured though.

The county council's emergency planning team set up a rest centre at nearby Leys Junior School for around 45 residents who had to be evacuated while building damage was assessed.

The council's Derbyshire Emergency Volunteers were also at the scene along with Red Cross workers, the emergency services and staff from Amber Valley Borough Council.

Eight fire engines attended the scene and county council engineers closed Mansfield Road due to damaged properties and trees.

Leys Junior School headteacher Nic Way, who returned to the school at 7pm with the caretaker to switch on lights and heating, said: "It was heartening to see so many people turn up to help last night - there was a real sense of community spirit."

Building damage assessments are being carried out and work is underway to make affected properties safe.

A number of properties in Belper and Duffield also suffered minor damage as the weather system moved across the county.