Tornado rips through Carrick

A FREAK tornado hit Maybole last week and caused devastation for one caravan park owner, which saw two people injured.

The twister hit the Ranch Caravan site last Wednesday lunchtime and left destruction which local police inspector, Andy Clapperton, described as similar to the “aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”

He said: “It was absolutely amazing, a complete one-off. I’d never seen anything like it, it was gone as quick as it arrived.”

An eyewitness described how he saw a very dark weather front approaching Maybole from Barr with a twister in front of it being pushed toward Maybole.

The tornado landed on the site of the Ranch Caravan site and turned nine caravans upside down in a whirlwind blitz.

Inspector Clapperton said: “We got the call at five past midday.

“I actually thought the television crews who reported it that night missed the fact that this was a one-off incident.

“The aftermath was something like the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina six years ago.

“There were only a couple of people on site at the time who suffered minor injuries, but it could have been a lot worse.

“If it had hit a couple of days earlier the site would have been full of people enjoying the long weekend and there could have been multiple fatalities.

“I never thought we’d get hit with something like that in Carrick, it was a freak of nature. There didn’t seem to be any other damage in Maybole itself other than the caravan park, which was even more strange.”

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, and paramedics attended the scene and two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Inspector Clapperton confirmed that they were both later released from hospital that day.

Statistics from the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation, TORRO, who specialise in this form of weather, shows that, based on the 30 year average, 33 tornados occur each year in the UK.

Although this figure will often vary somewhat when considering each individual year.

Deputy head at TORRO, Dr Terence Meaden, explained to the Gazette about the tornado that hit Maybole.

He said: “For the day in question TORRO has found that a tornado developed from a strong cell and that its high winds caused the damage across part of the caravan site. The damage was localised.

“Tornados occur from time to time in different parts of the British Isles.

“But while there will be more somewhere or other in coming months predictions as to where cannot be made.

“The same site is highly unlikely to be affected again.”