A mini-tornado has created havoc after rampaging through a sleeping Cornwall town overnight.

Four people were rescued from the roof of their submerged car in the village of St Kew on Wednesday evening.

Firemen in dry suits used ropes to rescue the occupants who were sitting on the roof of the stranded car in four feet of floodwater.

Weather experts were checking out reports of a tornado in Falmouth, West Cornwall.

Meanwhile, Devon County Council's emergency centre said highways teams responded to 90 call-outs overnight as flooding hit parts of the region.

Vehicles were stranded on bridges at Axminster in East Devon and there were
flood warnings on the rivers Clyst, Culm, Otter and Uplyme.

A damaged house in Widnes, Cheshire (

Image:

Liverpool Echo)

Torrents of rainwater also flooded through village centres in east Devon causing
disruption.

Locals in Widnes, Cheshire, posted videos of the damage created by the tornado, with collapsed garden walls, bins and roof tiles strewn across the middle of the road yesterday.

During the night, the tornado was also seen ripping up trees and tearing down fences.

The mini-tornado took place with reports of debris in and around Camberwell Park Road.

Locals said cars have been damaged by the mini tornado (

Image:

Liverpool Echo)

Local David Nevitt, who filmed some of the footage, said: "I personally feel really lucky, my family and house are okay.

"There's an area nearby which has been hit really badly, they will be devastated by the damage. We very rarely get bad weather."

One video shows debris strewn across the road, with tables and chairs having gone flying, and a fence - including its brick posts - thrown in the air and then dashed back down again.

Footage circulated on social media showing the weather wreaking havoc in Widnes yesterday (

Image:

Liverpool Echo)

A tree was also uprooted and could be seen across the road, while another video shows a large tree in someone's front garden ripped out of the ground.

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground.

A forecaster at the Met Office said it was entirely possible that a tornado had caused the damage.

The damage caused by a tornado that hit a Widnes housing estate (

Image:

Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)

He said: "The weather set-up in the area means that a tornado was possible around midday today in Widnes, although without clear footage of the event it's difficult to confirm whether the damaging winds were from a tornado or not.

"The Met Office had a thunderstorm warning in place in the area throughout the morning, and further unsettled weather was forecast for the afternoon, although it's impossible to forecast specific tornado events with any degree of confidence.

"Tornadoes are not uncommon in the UK and we get, on average, around 35 per year, though numbers can vary markedly from year to year. Tornado reports in the UK tend to be mainly in summer and autumn.

"Tornadoes in the UK are usually relatively narrow and short-lived affairs, typically lasting for only a few minutes and with tracks no more than a few kilometres long and a diameter of less than 100-200 metres."

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