A tornado that “torn up” Scott McKinnon’s property had such strong winds that they picked him up, and he says he clung to the kitchen bench for his life.
Most important points:
- The tornado left a 30km trail of destruction when it hit a rural area between Bathurst and Lithgow on Thursday afternoon.
- The Bureau of Meteorology called it a rare phenomenon
- Emergency services say 11 houses have been damaged
When the 115-pound tree shears landed on his legs again, the scenes outside the window were “inexplicable,” he said.
“You could see the cows spinning about 80 feet in the air with the debris.
The tornado tore through the The Central Plateaus of New South Wales just after lunch on Thursdaydestroying everything on a 30-kilometer trail from Clear Creek, near Bathurst, to Meadow Flat, in the southeast, near Lithgow.
Houses were flattened, fences wrapped around telegraph poles and three people were injured after the freak storm.
Parts of Mr. McKinnon’s home in Meadow Flat can now be found in a town 20 miles to the south called Tarana.
His Pomeranian named Pom Pom was not heavy enough to stay on the ground and flew about 300 meters away in a nearby paddock.
For now, Mr. McKinnon and his wife are saving what’s left and getting ready to build something new, because “life just goes on.”
Morris Saba is lucky to be alive after a wall fell on the chair he was sitting on moments before.
Mr. Saba was watching television in the living room of his house when… the storm could be heard brewing.
Mr. Saba’s wife screamed as she looked out the kitchen window and he jumped up to see what was going on.
Within moments the walls of the living room had collapsed on the chair he had been sitting in.
The roof of that part of the house had been torn off and tiles were scattered across the lawn.
Shards of glass were sticking out of the grass.
Mr. Saba and his family could not recall seeing anything like this in over 40 years of living in the region.
Much of the house is now unrecognizable.
“It all went too fast,” said Saba.
Remnants of the family’s lunch were scattered on the kitchen floor.
Nothing was left untouched. Barns were knocked over, cars destroyed and some 200 trees were torn from the roots.
Splinters of wood from the paneled walls of the destroyed rooms were scattered across the backyard.
A 450 kilogram trailer had simply disappeared and was nowhere to be found.
Mr Saba’s wife injured her back in the chaos and was taken to Bathurst Hospital in stable condition before being released a few hours later.
“You see it somewhere else, you never know when it’s going to happen your way…and when it happened, it was pretty scary.”
The family has insurance and plans to rebuild.
The National Emergency Service thinks about 11 houses have been damaged.
Many properties in the area are weekenders or small businesses, so total damage can add up once landowners are able to assess what happened.