Tornadoes and a supercell thunderstorm have swept across Queensland in Australia Thursday, injuring four people and causing widespread damage.
Talks are under way to determine if the hard hit South Burnett area should be declared a disaster zone, after tennis-ball-sized hail flattened entire crops at harvest time, and strong wind gusts blew roofs from homes.
“A lot of farmers were getting ready to pick their crops… and this will be a massive setback,” said forecaster Adam Blazak.
Hail covered paddocks so deep in ice, parts looked like they had a covering of snow.
— Craig Thomler (@craigthomler) October 12, 2018
Coolabunia dairy farmer Damien Tessmann said his family had never experienced anything like the storms.
“My family have been in dairy for 120 years and I’m a fifth-generation farmer but we’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
“My uncle’s house is on the property and his windows were smashed and he lost a roof so the kitchen is all exposed, it looks like a swimming pool.”
Queensland Dairy Farmers president Brian Tessmann said the storm’s fury was also like nothing he’d ever seen, with winds tearing the roofs from his home and dairy.
“ … the roof came off and it was bedlam from there, trying to hold doors shut, and water coming through the ceiling, and things flying through the air. It was quite something,” he told the ABC.
— ABC Rural (@ABCRural) October 12, 2018
Fiona Simpson could be the toughest mother in Queensland. Caught in yesterday’s crazy storm at Kingaroy, she shielded her baby from pelting hail after it smashed her car windows. @7NewsBrisbane pic.twitter.com/dzwKfmKouh
— Mac Lyon (@MacLyon7) October 11, 2018
One Mary Valley resident reflected on the “scariest thing” she had ever seen, “It moved so quickly, it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” Ms Strachan said.
“When the lightning started there were just so many strikes so close together, that was when I realised I was in the thick of it all.
“It was like War of the Worlds, it was so close to me. I was standing at my window videoing it, and then it went up about 10 notches.”
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) October 11, 2018
More than 1000 Queenslanders have made insurance claims so far, according to the Insurance Council of Australia.
That figures is expected to skyrocket over the weekend, however, as residents begin to count the cost of the damage.