CRAIG and Diane Graham had a terrifying few minutes when a mini-tornado ripped through their Homebush yard.
Mr Graham said the whole ordeal would have only lasted about three minutes.
"We were watching the tennis; it would have been about 8.30pm," he said.
"It was in between one of the sets and we went outside to have a smoke.
"It was already windy, but it really picked up.
"I reckon the wind would have been about 200kmh for about a minute.
"I told Di to go back inside, and then when it really picked up I was flat-out trying to walk back inside the house."
In the light of day yesterday, the Graham family was able to see how the intense gusts had knocked a large tree onto their fence and ripped some of the iron off their shed.
"When it was going over, the wind was that loud that I didn't hear the big tree come down," Mr Graham said.
There were similar reports of strong winds like this yesterday at Sarina and throughout the Mackay region.
Sarina Golf Club president Dennis Cook is expecting the damage bill of Thursday night's winds to be more than $2000.
He said club members had a big clean-up job ahead of them, and they would have to hire heavy machinery to complete the task.
"We have contractors walking around about to do a quote now," he said yesterday morning. Mr Cook said the club would be back in action early next week if the weather fined up.
Bureau of Meteorology's Evan Chalk said wind gusts of up to 40 knots were recorded on Thursday night.
He said people weren't inclined to officially report instances of tornadoes but they were possible particularly with the low that had just passed us.
"We do get them in Australia," he said.