Barking ‘tornado’: Live updates as aftermath looks like a ‘bomb has gone off’ in East London streets

Eyewitnesses of the ‘tornado’ that hit areas of Barking yesterday (June 25) have reported that it looks like a ‘bomb has gone off’ in the streets.

Residents have been out today cleaning up the aftermath of the destruction which has left houses seriously damaged, walls knocked down, and cars destroyed.

Flash flooding also hit the area, and footage from the scene last night showed bins, trees and debris being blown around the streets.

READ MORE: Video shows trees stripped bare by savage winds and rubble-strewn streets

Gurpal, 27, who was in his house when the storm hit, told My London it was ‘like a hand came from the sky and grabbed everything’.

He added: “There were trampolines flying around, my wall is completely destroyed, the house over the road had its windows smashed in so we all ran to the middle of the house to hide. The insurance guys are coming later so hopefully everything will be covered.”

Our reporter is on the scene and we will continue to cover the aftermath live. Follow all the updates below or on Facebook Live here.

Are you at the scene? Do you have information, photos or video? Email [email protected] or [email protected]

Seren Hughes

Council confirms roof damage, debris on the road, resident’s cars, phone lines and trees also hit

In a statement this morning, Barking and Dagenham said that a number of properties in Hulse Avenue and the surrounding areas ‘sustained roof damage causing debris on the road, while resident’s cars, phone lines and trees were also hit’.

Council and other emergency services were on location offering support to residents.

There were no injuries and no need of rehousing.

The council’s teams worked to clear the area throughout the day.

Seren Hughes

Around 40 tonnes of debris cleared

Barking and Dagenham council released a statement on Twitter saying around 40 tonnes of debris have been cleared.

All affected roads and pathways are now clear.

The statement reads: “All roads and pathways affected by last night’s weather have been clears with the Incident Response and Cleansing Teams clearing approximately 40 tonnes of debris.

“Have a good afternoon and enjoy the calmer weather!”

Seren Hughes

Residents speak out about the ‘terrifying’ storm

Our reporter Rachael Davis spoke to residents about the ‘terrifying’ storm.

You can read her article here, where she recounts what they said and what she witnessed of the aftermath this morning.

The damage includes roof tiles being ripped down and blown through windows, walls crushed by winds and debris destroying car windscreens.

One man saw his entire garden wall destroyed, while another described how his children were out playing on their trampoline mere moments before it was lifted up and flung away by the wind.

Seren Hughes

London Fire Brigade took over 250 calls

The London Fire Brigade took over 250 calls from Barking and Romford last night.

A spokesperson Tweeted: “Crews responded to a significant amount of flooding incidents, as well as damage to vehicles, buildings & a collapsed manhole cover.”

Seren Hughes

The ‘tornado’ only lasted around 5 minutes

Resident Sandra Shelton told our reporter Rachael Davis earlier that the worst of the storm only lasted five or 10 minutes and reports on social media say the same.

Yet it still managed to cause significant damage.

Seren Hughes

Footage shows wheelie bin flying through the sky

Footage from yesterday (June 25) shows what appears to be a wheelie bin flying through the sky as debris was swept into the air by strong winds during the storm.

The video, shared on TikTok, is set to the Dr Who title song, which seems fitting considering the freak nature of this weather which reportedly lasted just five minutes and yet caused so much chaos.


Wait…. Hold up is that a….. wheelie bin ? #tornado #barking #londontornado #drwho #foryoupage

Dr. Who – The TV Theme Singers

Seren Hughes

Police helped assist vulnerable people during

A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police Special Constabulary said they had a ‘busy night’ assisting vulnerable people ‘after a freak weather incident of high winds, heavy rain, hail and flooding across the East Area’.

The statement reads: “Busy night for #EAtaskforce in @MPSHavering @MPSBarkDag dealing with a number of RTCs and assisting vulnerable people after a freak weather incident of high winds, heavy rain, hail and flooding across the East Area, and just for good measure we also arrested a drink driver”

Seren Hughes

A resident walks through the nearby damage

A resident walks through the damage to cars and a neighbour’s garage.

A woman can be heard saying: “Our neighbour had a garage that was all walled up – everything’s come down.”

Seren Hughes

Footage shows the community clearing debris

The community came together to sweep debris into the street where the council could collect it.

Seren Hughes

Video footage shows dark skies and strong winds during the storm yesterday evening

Seren Hughes

Roofer helping out by doing repairs at cost value

Jas Grewal of Jas Roofing is repairing people’s roofs for cost value to help out, reports Rachael Davis.

He is repairing five or six houses on Wilmington Gardens.

Jas has been roofing in Barking for 40 years.

Jas Grewal is helping repair roofs (Image: Rachael Davis)

Seren Hughes

“As soon as my kids got in the house the trampoline lifted up and flew through the air”

Mizanur Rahman told our reporter Rachael Davis about how his kids were playing on the trampoline in the garden and just as he got them inside the whole thing ‘lifted up and flew through the air’.

Mizanur recognised the warning signs of the coming storm after experiencing tornadoes in Bangladesh.

He said: “My kids, they’re 6 and 9, they were playing on the trampoline in the garden. I was trying to get them to come inside because I saw the leaves acting strangely, it reminded me of the tornadoes we would have in Bangladesh.

“They wouldn’t come in, they just wanted to play, but eventually I got them to come in and it was just in time because as soon as they got in the house the whole thing lifted up and flew through the air, the trampoline went at least a few houses down.

Recalling what it was like during the peak of the storm, Mizanur said: “We hid in the living room because I knew to hide where load bearing beams are in case the house collapses. There were slates from the roof flying into the house, it was raining slates. The stones off the fronts of the houses were flying around too, it was almost like hailstones.”

The damage to a tree in Mizanur’s garden (Image: Rachael Davis)
Part of Mizanur’s trampoline ended up in a tree

Seren Hughes

“I noticed the leaves blowing around. Then I saw paper twisting, and all of a sudden it hit.”

Sandra Shelton, 61, had tiles ripped off her roof and her whole garden was destroyed.

She told our reporter Rachael Davis about what it was like before the storm hit.

She said: “It was about 5 to 7, I was in the conservatory and I noticed the leaves blowing around. Then I saw paper twisting, and all of a sudden it hit. There were tiles everywhere, it only lasted about 5 or 10 minutes. We stood in the hallway because we heard that was the best thing to do.”

Once the storm passed, Sandra said the whole community came together.

She said: “There was debris everywhere, but the whole community came together to move it into the street – the council said they can’t clear it if it’s in our driveway so we had to move it into the street.”

Unfortunately, Sandra’s car was smashed in the storm.

She said: “My car is a write off, it’s the first car we bought new. We only got it in 2018 and have just finished paying it off.”

The state of Sandra’s garden

Seren Hughes

Follow as our reporter is live on Facebook

Rachael Davis is doing a Facebook Live.

Seren Hughes

“Like a hand came from the sky and grabbed everything”

Gurpal, 27, was in his house when the storm hit, reports Rachael Davis.

He said it was “like a hand came from the sky and grabbed everything.”

He added: “There were trampolines flying around, my wall is completely destroyed, the house over the road had its windows smashed in so we all ran to the middle of the house to hide. The insurance guys are coming later so hopefully everything will be covered.”

Gurpal’s destroyed wall (Image: Rachael Davis)
The windows of this car were smashed (Image: Rachael Davis)
The house over the road from Gurpal had its windows smashed (Image: Rachael Davis)

Seren Hughes

Clean up already seems underway as our reporter arrives on the scene

Our reporter, Rachael Davis, has arrived in Barking at the scene of where the ‘tornado’ hit.

The area seems to have already been tidied up.

We will be sharing further updates as they come through.

Charlie Lawrence-Jones

Beware of fake pictures

According to the Met Office, pictures of a recent tornado in Czech Republic were being circulated under the pretence they were from the Barking weather incident.

Craig Snell, forecaster for the Met Office, said: “We have to be careful with fake photos. We’re in the era of photoshop.

“One going round online is actually of one in the Czech Republic a few days ago.”

Charlie Lawrence-Jones

Met Office can’t confirm it was a tornado

Craig Snell, a forecaster for the Met Office, told MyLondon: “We can’t confirm whether it was a tornado, sometimes thunderstorms can produce very strong wings and they can cause significant damage.

“Tornadoes are a very rare occasion in the UK.

“Regarding yesterday, we’ve not seen any real images of a funnel cloud.”

These are the precursours to a tornado. Craig explained: “If a tornado doesn’t reach the ground it’s called a funnel cloud.”

The Met Office will now investigate the incident with researchers analysing data and pictures to determine if it can be described as tornado.

Charlie Lawrence-Jones

Not London’s first – The 2006 Kensal Rise Tornado

Although the weather phenomenon seen yesterday in Barking has yet to be confirmed as a tornado, London has seen a proper one before.

On an otherwise quiet December morning in 2006 a tornado appeared over Kensal Rise, West London, ripping through the area.

Hundreds of people were displaced from their homes as structural damage was assessed with many decalred uninhabitable.

Six people were injured.

The damage left after the 2006 Kensal Rise Tornado (Image: Scott Barbour/ Getty Images)

Charlie Lawrence-Jones

Was it actually a tornado?

When most people think of tornados, tropical islands or Kansas come to mind, not East London.

But was it really a tornado?

Grahame Madge, a spokesperson from the Met Office, told Sky News last night: “This evening emergency services in the capital responded to a ‘weather-related’ incident at around 7.20pm. This is believed to have been a tornado, but that cannot be confirmed at this time.

“Tornadoes are rare in the UK, but occur around 35 times each year, most typically during thunderstorms.

“This evening slow-moving thunderstorms have been producing very heavy rain, lightning and hail across northeast Greater London, south Essex and the far north Kent.”

An update from the Met Office has been requested.

Charlie Lawrence-Jones

My London reporter heading to the scene

My London reporter Rachael Davis is heading to the scene of the ‘tornado’ to get updates on the freak weather incident and to see how residents are picking up the pieces.

Charlie Lawrence-Jones

Dry weather over East London expected today

After the wildness of yesterday evening, East Londoners can expect a bit of calm today.

The Met Office are forecasting a fairly grey day with an occasional bit of sun poking through the clouds, little to no rain expected.

Charlie Lawrence-Jones

Map shows rainfall yesterday over East London

Charlie Lawrence-Jones

Picture shows the flooding in nearby Gidea Park

As the ‘tornado’ ripped through Barking, flash flooding hit in the nearby area of Gidea Park, Havering.

Roads and drive ways were swamped in the Gidea Park area of Havering (Image: @javelinsam)

The important A12 Colchester Road (RM3) between Gallows Corner and Whitelands Way was closed in both directions due to flooding.

Charlie Lawrence-Jones

Welcome back to our coverage

We’ll continue to give updates on yesterday’s bizarre weather incident as residents carry on picking up the pieces.

Tom Haynes

Weather forecast for tomorrow, according to the Met Office and the BBC

The strong destructive winds seen on Friday night may not bode well for the weekend ahead, but the forecast looks calm.

The Met Office predicts highs of 22C during the day on Saturday (June 26) – “a fine and dry day for most with warm sunny spells and light winds.” Expect cloudy skies in the afternoon, however.

Sunday (June 27) is set to be cloudy in the morning, with highs of 22C, although rain is forecast from 4pm.

The BBC predicts “variable cloud amounts in the morning, with a few brighter or sunny spells in places” before the evening turns sunny.

On Sunday the Beeb predicts an overcast day with “spells of rain” which will continue through the week.

Tom Haynes

Stunning image shows clouds swirling overhead as winds sweep through Barking

This image shows the clouds swirling over the skies of East Lonon just as ferocious winds tore through the streets.

The clouds spiralling overhead

Taken by a resident who lives near Upney station, East London, and provided to My London, it shows grey skies forming an elegant spiral.

Will Twigger

Reports of flash flooding in Dagenham

Reports have emerged of flash flooding in Dagenham.

A video shows water that has risen as high as the number plates on cars.

This comes amid a flurry of freak weather in London’s East End, including a “tornado” which has pushed down fences and left streets strewn with rubble.

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