To locals it's known as "little Birmingham" because of the large number of Brummies that now live there.

Yesterday, a Sixties-built estate on the edge of Nuneaton, in North Warwickshire, gained another connection with the city 20 miles to the west.

At just after 6am, it was hit by a tornado similar, but much smaller in size, to the one that struck Birmingham two years ago.

Like then, tiles were ripped off the roofs of houses, trees up-rooted or stripped of branches, gardens torn up and fences brought down.

And thankfully, once again, fortune smiled upon residents living in the eye of the storm, all of whom escaped without injury.

While heavy rain and strong winds lashed the region, disrupting morning commuters, residents of Mallard Avenue, Trafford Drive and Kingfisher Avenue in Whittleford woke up to a scene of destruction.

Within minutes, emergency services had arrived, sealing off the worst affected part of Mallard Avenue and advising people to stay in their homes.

By mid morning, council contractors moved in to make safe the area while stunned residents looked on as Red Cross volunteers and other officials gathered.

Marilyn Davis, aged 56, who lives in Mallard Avenue with her husband Peter, 57, was getting ready to go to work at George Eliot Hospital when the tornado struck.

"There was torrential rain and this sudden whooshing noise then it was a domino effect with things coming off the roofs," she said.

"Things were rushing past the window. There were things flying everywhere. I said to myself 'I hope no one is outside'.

"It only lasted a minute or two but it was just the devastation it left behind. It took one of our trees down in the front and a lot of the cars in the road were mangled."

Her worried son Matthew drove from his job in Milton Keynes to Nuneaton when he heard about the storm.

"My dad texted me and I wanted to make sure they were OK," he said.

One hundred yards away in Trafford Drive a large garden trampoline was lifted out of Yvette Mawson's back garden and smashed against a wall on the other side of the street.

"I woke up and heard the wind and the rain and things being shattered. I came downstairs and saw the roof of my conservatory was blown off and my glass patio table was shattered. Chairs were blown all over and the trampoline was gone."

Her son Jamie, aged 17, added: "All the water came through to my bedroom and over my clothes. They were soaked."

Marie Clarke, aged 32, of Kingfisher Avenue, was feeding her seven-month old baby Cameron when the tornado struck.

"It had been raining and it was almost like an express train coming through the road. All the windows blew open and shut. When I got up later to do the school run for my other two children there was a hell of a lot of damage.

"There were roof tiles, tree branches, rubbish and other debris."

Though no one claimed to have seen the tornado, it was the sound of the winds that struck them most.

"There was a vast noise," said Cliff Walker, 56, of Mallard Avenue.

"When I looked out the window you couldn't see anything because it was just a haze. I have lived here since 1970 and I have never seen anything like this. I am amazed nobody was hurt."

Like many, Mr Walker praised the emergency services and council for acting promptly.

"Their response was absolutely brilliant. The estate was like a war zone. They cleared everything up and made it safe," he said.

Tim Norton, of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said: "Our refuse and collection teams moved in straight away to clear debris from the road to make it accessible and allow residents to get their vehicles out. Council tenants have received a visit from a surveyor to estimate the damage and that work will now be carried out. There are three independent assessors on site."

Out of 35 houses hit, ten were said to be seriously damaged.

Not everyone in the area, however, was satisfied with the council's response.

Residents in nearby Melfort Close, where houses were also damaged, claimed they had been overlooked.

Tom Holligan, aged 40, said: "My house is a hazard. It's got loose tiles on the roof near to a public footpath but nobody wants to help us. This side is completely forgotten about."