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We praise school staff and volunteers after tornado

We've praised school staff and volunteers who helped to make sure residents were safe after a tornado which ripped roofs off houses in a Derbyshire town.

The tornado hit homes in Catherine Street and Mansfield Road, Alfreton at 3.30pm (Wednesday 8 October).

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

Our 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.

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

Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Dave Allen said:

Our emergency planning team was at the scene to help with the evacuation and were joined by adult care staff to help with vulnerable older residents.

"Only one couple needed emergency accommodation and other residents made their own arrangements but we have to be prepared and could not have done this as efficiently as we did without help from staff at the school and volunteers.

"I'd like to thank them for helping us, the emergency services and borough council handle a serious situation as quickly and safely as possible."

Eight fire engines attended the scene and our 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."

Amber Valley Borough Council today continued to carry out building damage assessment and make affected properties safe. Mansfield Road is now open as usual.

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