Emma Boughen

Freak ‘cyclone-like’ storm damages homes, kills livestock

WINDS so strong and icy it felt as though the bones in her fingers "were going to break" tore through Sandra Harvey's Palgrave home early yesterday morning.

"I'm a bit paralysed, there's so much to do I can't get started," she said.

Ms Harvey and her 16-year-old daughter Taylah were the only ones at their rented home on the 2600ha commercial cattle property Granite Hills owned by P and G Hayes, when the storm hit at 1.30am yesterday morning.

"It was just awesome - I could feel hail hitting me through my lounge room," Ms Harvey said.

"It was so loud I thought the house was going to lift up and off the stumps."

In just half an hour the Harveys said their 150mm rain gauge went from empty to overflowing, as trees were uprooted and fences torn down.

Hail clogged up the gutters gushing rainwater back into the house.

The pair only just moved to their home south-west of Warwick in September last year, after moving from the Sunshine Coast five years ago.

"It's unbelievable we moved inland to more cyclonic weather than the coastline," Ms Harvey said.

"I was just saying yesterday how glad I was we didn't get the same storms as they do up north."

Farm manager of eight months Sandy Miller arrived at the start of Granite Hills Road at 6am yesterday morning, but said it took him an hour and a half to chainsaw his way through the debris to reach the yards and house.

Trees were completely uprooted.
Trees were completely uprooted.

"I've lived in Warwick on and off all my life and I've never seen a storm like this before," Mr Miller said.

Not long into his inspection he found and put down two cows whose legs had been broken after a tree fell on them.

Four horses also will also be out of action for at least three to four months after suffering severe gashes on their legs and hail bruising.

"There's no grass left, and the leaves and bark has been stripped off the trees," Mr Miller said.

"But at least the dams are full, we've got to look at the positives."

Westpac Agribusiness ambassador and former Queensland state manager for Agribusiness Rod Kelly who owns a property west of Leslie Dam said the storm appeared to have moved north from Dalveen.

Though Rod and his wife Debbie were sound asleep at their home on Washpool Rd during the thick of the storm, "the mini tornado" tore past their property on Rockland Road shredding fences, and tearing iron sheets off of the shearing shed.


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