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Terror storm hits Leeds

By Jo Rostron and Vicki Robinson A terror tornado ripped through Leeds yesterday, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Shops were shut due to flooding, snapped trees and roads riddled with water, and the fire service received a record number of calls.

One man was taken to hospital after being hit by a falling tree, and the council carried out repairs to more than 300 homes.

There was havoc across the city when a tornado hurtled across the north and east of Leeds at around 3pm.

East End Park and Harehills was strewn with branches, leaves and trees which had been lifted out of the ground by the fierce weather.

Harrogate and Shadwell were also affected.

West Yorkshire fire service said it received 90 calls in 30 minutes when the storm broke shortly after 3pm. A brigade spokeswoman said BT engineers told them it was the largest number of calls ever received by a fire service in a half-hour period in 20 years.

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Ambulance Service said a man, believed to be in his 30s, was taken to hospital after an incident in Compton Road, Harehills.

Around the corner, Harehills Children's Centre narrowly escaped being hit after a series of trees clattered to the ground in the park outside.

Police and council workers were dotted around East End Park yesterday afternoon, shredding the fallen trees in the roads and the park around Victoria Avenue.

Karl Simpkins, 27, was decorating one of the homes on the road at the time.

He said: "It was like a tube which was swirling around, and all you could see were leaves everywhere. The sky was full of leaves, it went quiet then it started to pour with rain. Then I saw a tree fall to the ground, just skimming a car parked nearby."

Karen McIntosh, 42, was sitting in her home on Ecclesburn Avenue, around the corner, when one of the windows was twisted off its hinges.

She said: "It just went really dark, the sky was almost green. The wind came from nowhere and it felt like the air was being sucked out of the windows. I was terrified – I was really shaking."

jo.rostron@ypn.co.uk

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