BEACH huts destroyed in gales will be rebuilt in time for the summer season.
Havant Borough Council has promised to rebuild 10 beach huts on Hayling Island which were left in tatters by 80mph winds.
Eyewitnesses reported that the storm last Tuesday lifted many huts from their foundations, with roofs, walls and personal belongings strewn along the beach.
A total of 10 that are rented out by the council were destroyed and these will be rebuilt at a cost of £15,000.
A further six huts that are privately-owned were destroyed, as well as 25 huts being damaged or moved by the wind.
Council officials said it is the worst-ever incident of weather damage to beach huts.
Joyce Clark, of Hollow Lane, Hayling Island, who has had her beach hut for almost 20 years, said: ‘Our hut was damaged by falling debris from the wind.
‘Ours is still standing, but another three we looked at disappeared like match wood. They were just broken up.
‘We went down to the beach in the morning and it was just covered in pieces of roof, walls, and personal belongings. It was sad.
‘Someone mentioned it was a mini-tornado. Some were still standing and not affected at all and others disappeared – it didn’t just affect a whole row. There were pockets.’
She said people rallied round to collect the debris along the beach.
Mrs Clark added: ‘There was a lot of sympathy from other hut owners.
‘The council were brilliant in coming along and tidying it all up.
‘They tried to keep beach hut owners off because of the danger of flying debris.’
Peter Vince, the council’s operational services manager, said: ‘Our huts will be replaced at an approximate cost to the council of £15,000.
‘Owners of others destroyed will need to contact us to arrange for replacement huts to ensure they are the correct specification to fit with the criteria of the other beach huts.
‘Our workers spent two days clearing debris and notifying hut owners of the damage.
‘As part of the clean-up, personal belongings from the destroyed huts have been collected up, patio chairs, tea pots, mugs etc, and stored for owners to look through should they wish to.
‘Owners are advised to contact their insurance company to make a claim for personal items.’