Storms lay waste to country towns

OPEN AIR LEARNING: The roof of the Jundah State School ended up on the ground. Education authorities expect to have the school functioning for its seven students on their return.
OPEN AIR LEARNING: The roof of the Jundah State School ended up on the ground. Education authorities expect to have the school functioning for its seven students on their return. Contributed

KANGAROOS were blown off town streets, trucks overturned, and homes and infrastructure significantly damaged as savage storms and tornadoes swept through western central Queensland this week.

Worst hit were the hamlets of Blackall, Jundah, Stonehenge and Ilfracombe where power and communication was cut for hours, with Longreach recording its heaviest one-day rainfall in 14 years with 78mm.

Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson did an aerial inspection of the damage on Wednesday.

"The bloody heat has been horrific out here … something had to give," Mr Johnson said.

 

This council donga was upended by the wild weather.
This council donga was upended by the wild weather.

"In Jundah there was a lot of devastation - 20 out of the 25 homes had some sort of structural damage, and the roof was blown off the school library.

 

"The one good factor is there was no loss of life or serious injury, and that's a blessing."

Mr Johnson's daughter Monique Rayment, the Jundah Hotel publican, described the storm front on Tuesday afternoon as "the maddest thing" confronting her as she drove into town.

"Black and red stripes heading downwards, like a zebra in the sky," she said.

"There was no warning at all… A fellow said he was standing at his front door and a kangaroo was blown over."

Federal MP Bruce Scott has called for natural disaster declarations for Jundah and Stonehenge.



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