STORM Ciara hurtled into Swindon bringing a trail of destruction, ripping off roofs, leaving homes without power and causing major travel disruption.

The gable end of a flat in Ridgeway Farm, which was only built two years ago, was pulled away hurling bricks to the pavement below.

And a electrical contractor’s van was crushed by a falling tree.

Gareth Hutchings, who owns Core 7 Ltd, said had happened overnight while the vehicle was parked in Godwin Court, Old Town.

“Fortunately, the driver wasn’t in the vehicle and no one nearby was hurt,” he said.

“However, it will be a couple of days before they can get the van out, so we can really assess the damage. But to be honest with you I think we will probably have to get a new vehicle out of it.

He added: “From what I can see, sections of the roof and bonnet have been collapsed in. Sadly, it will have an effect on our business for the next couple of weeks until we can get it all sorted thought.

“That’s the biggest tree I have seen down. I was not expecting to see a tree that size to come down.”

Judit Horváth, 39 discovered the roof of the neighbouring garages had taken flight and landed in her garden on Wrenswood.

She said: “ The wind was incredibly loud all day, and then suddenly we heard a much louder rumble, like a scratching metal.

“At first I thought the roof of our building came off but then it turned out it’s the roof of the neighbouring garages. There’s a brick wall between them and our garden.

“The middle one of the eight garages was broken into about five years ago and nobody gave two shakes about it ever since.

“So, I’d assume the wind could rush in through that and it could lift off the roof that’d been neglected and rotting away. It ripped off part of the brick wall too.

“The wind turned the whole thing around and chucked it into our garden. Imagine if someone was out there at the time.”

The Met Office had issued last week a danger to life warning over much of the country.

Gusts of up to 97mph were recorded on the coast during the day and gales brought down trees across Swindon and Wiltshire on roads and rail tracks.

More than 2,000 homes in the county lost power, including properties in Swindon. There were also reports of flying trampolines landing in roads.

Great Western Railway had to reduce its services throughout the day for safety reasons and delays were caused when the Swindon to Cheltenham line was blocked by a tree.

And buses in Swindon were diverted due to fallen trees on the road.

Wiltshire Police and Swindon Borough Council both issued warnings and advice for people travelling.