150-year-old oak tree blown over after suspected tornado hits Devon village

Parts of the 150-year-old oak tree took out power cables. Credit: Jo Earlam / BPM Media

An 150-year-old oak tree has come down following what was believed to have been a tornado in East Devon.

Jo Earlam said she was inside her house in Tipton St John, near Sidmouth, when her neighbour's tree came down in her garden at around 5:30pm on Saturday 30 December.

She said she felt "very lucky" as the tree only narrowly missed her house and car.

"A huge section of this beautiful tree covered much of our garden and the drive," Ms Earlam said. "No one was hurt and it missed the house and the car, but it was pretty terrifying."

She added that part of the tree took out power cables, which were replaced by National Grid overnight.

"The National Grid team were amazing working through the night in horrible squally rain, cutting up the tree, putting in a new pole and refixing the cables," Ms Earlam said.

"Meanwhile, John and I played cards by candlelight and counted our lucky stars," she added.

National Grid worked through the night to restore power after the tree came down on cables. Credit: Jo Earlam / BPM Media

A yellow wind warning was put in place by the Met Office for Devon and the wider southwest region until 23:59 on Sunday 31 December.

Several other trees reportedly fell in the area during the weather event, with locals saying the wind was so strong it also took off roofs from porches and stables.

Posting on X on Sunday 31 December, The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO)said: "Whilst the maximum intensity is still being assessed TORRO can confirm based on a site investigation that Venn Ottery & Tipton St John were hit by a tornado yesterday afternoon."

Ms Earlam added: "Hope everyone in the village is safe and not too much damage.

"We all rallied around together here in Green Lane. Feeling thankful after seeing the size of the trunk that no one was hurt."