Buildings and cars were damaged when a tornado swept through Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
Winds and rain caused havoc near Manchester Airport and the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park for about an hour from 16:30 BST on Friday.
Rebecca Jeffery, who was with her two children at at Stamford Park, said debris “swirled through the air”.
“My son says I just shouted: ‘Stay beside me’ over and over again as I was panicking he’d get blown away.”
She added: “I turned the pram away from the wind and grabbed my six-year-old and then we stood as the wind went crazy and metal and wood swirled through the air above the houses.
“I’ve never seen trees move like that.
“I saw the tree branches fall down behind us and then suddenly it was all gone again. It was surreal.”
Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said the ingredients for a tornado were unstable air through stormy conditions and “wind shear”, where air travels in different directions at different heights in the atmosphere.
“Those ingredients were there at the right time across the Manchester area,” he added.
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It is known as a funnel cloud until it touches the ground and causes damage. The UK normally sees between 30 and 50 a year.
BBC weather presenter Simon King tweeted footage of flooding in Hale village, adding it followed “that type of rain that even an umbrella won’t help you”.
Martin Kevill, who was in a pub in Mobberley, Cheshire, said customers “heard some pretty abnormal gusts”.
“The pub rumbled and we ran outside to see what it was. The road was pitch black and it was really dark.
“When the gusts passed, a tree ripped up and fell over into a field of llamas.
“Then after a moment or two, the clouds moved along and it was actually quite clear again, apart from the rain.”
In 2005, one of the strongest tornadoes recorded in the UK hit Birmingham, uprooting about 1,000 trees, raising roofs from buildings and overturning cars.
No-one was killed although 19 people were injured.