Freak weather disturbs a holiday

Before and after, the impact of the Selsey tornado
Before and after, the impact of the Selsey tornado

IN A recent edition of the Observer there was a nostalgia article on the Selsey tornado of 1998.

Roy Weyman, now a Selsey resident, was on holiday in a chalet at the Windmill caravan park when the freak weather condition struck.

He contacted the Observer to reminisce on the experience.

“I remember waking up and hearing the rain and the wind, it sounded like a whistle,” he wrote.

“I thought ‘what now?’”

“The rain was turning into large hailstones so I went back to bed and hid under the duvet as the hailstones were really hitting the windows hard and if the window broke, I wouldn’t get showered in glass.

“I waited until I heard the hailstones stop and the wind die down and I think I went to sleep.

“The next morning after breakfast I went out to see if everything was okay.

“I went to the town and I could see some damage and I found out that it was a tornado.”

The weekend had been made all the more eventful for Mr Weyman, because a few nights previously he was moved out of a chalet by the fire brigade to escape flooding.

He was in the shower when he heard a knock at the door.

He did not answer it and 
it was only when he got out of the shower and was getting dressed, he realised water was coming up between the floor and the skirting board.

“Quickly I got dressed and started to put everything up off the floor on to the bed.

“As I was doing this there was a knock at the door again so I answered it and it was the fire brigade.

“They told me the chalets were being evacuated as the sea had breached and the site was beginning to flood.

“They quickly helped me move things up, but told me to go as they were going to turn off the electric for safety reasons.

“I grabbed a few bits and pieces and left.

“I had to jump into 18 inches of cold, muddy water outside the door and wade through it until I got to the Windmill club where the ground was higher.

“I joined some other people who were making their way to the Windmill where we were told to gather.

“When I got to the Windmill there were lots of other people all talking about what was happening.

“I looked towards the reception through the street lights and all I could see was water.”

The guests were told to go to the town hall where they could find somewhere to stay.

A few days later, Mr Weyman returned to the caravan park – when the tornado struck.