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Storm Rips Along Highway

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John Bjelke-Petersen with his new open-air hay shed at Edenvale after Wednesday night's storm

February 1, 2018

Council workers, Ergon crews, SES volunteers and local farmers were out in force during the early hours of Thursday morning clearing debris left after a wild storm unexpectedly swept through the South Burnett.

Strong winds ripped out large trees by their roots and knocked over advertising hoardings along the D’Aguilar Highway between Franklins Road and Edenvale South Road.

A stand of trees alongside Ushers Road looked like it had been bulldozed.

The Weather Bureau reported a wind gust of 85km/h was recorded at Kingaroy Airport at 9:15pm.

At Pottique (40mm rain), owners Lindsay and Annie McBride and family friend Graham Southey spent the day clearing fallen branches and other debris from their gardens.

Annie was grateful the only damage to the buildings appeared to be a fallen chimney from the pottery kiln.

At the height of the storm, a crow – and part of its nest – were blown horizontally across their yard, smashing into a barbecue. The crow survived …

Annie McBride was busy cleaning up the garden at Pottique which was covered with debris

Graham Southey, from Wondai, travelled down to give the McBrides a hand

Thor played skittles with a string of advertising hoardings along the D'Aguilar Highway

Council workers removed truckloads of debris from the Coolabunia rest stop

Crops of corn were flattened as the storm bisected the South Burnett from the south, delivering heavy falls of rain in the Booie, Kingaroy, Wondai and Murgon areas but nothing at Mannuem, Chahpingah, Durong or Hivesville.

Gutters overflowed on to footpaths in Nanango and Kingaroy as heavy rain, and some hail, accompanied the strong winds.

In the Edenvale area, John and June Larkin (35mm rain) suffered some water damage to their home when a tree fell near the front of the house.

Unfortunately, two branches pierced the roof, letting in the rain.

John Bjelke-Petersen said 18mm fell at ‘Bethany’ but about 40mm fell on the family property at Edenvale.

The corrugated iron roof on one of his hay sheds was completely ripped off, landing in nearby paddocks.

The winds also bent solar panels, but the array was still working.

A falling tree branch spiked the roof of John and June Larkin's house at Edenvale

At the height of the storm large trees and branches fell across the D'Aguilar Highway near Edenvale, prompting multiple calls to Kingaroy Police, Council and the SES

Ergon Energy workers inspect power lines for damage at Coolabunia in the wake of Wednesday's storms

An Ergon Energy spokesman said about 5000 customers in Nanango, Blackbutt, Yarraman and Cooyar lost power for 15 minutes when the line from the Kingaroy substation to the Nanango substation tripped.

Fortunately, this didn’t cause any damage requiring repairs and power was successfully restored soon afterwards.

A similar issue occurred on the line supplying Proston and surrounding areas which affected about 1000 customers for about 20 minutes.

In the Moffatdale, Redgate and Barambah areas about 470 Ergon Energy customers lost power from about 10:30pm to 2:00am until crews replaced a blown fuse.

At noon on Thursday, there were still six customers awaiting restoration of power: three on the D’Aguilar Highway at Coolabunia and three in Nanango.

Storm debris along the edge of the D'Aguilar Highway

Some of the fallen trees along the edges of the D'Aguilar Highway after the roadway was cleared

* * *

Rainfall totals:

  • Booie – 43mm, 70mm
  • Coolabunia – 50mm
  • Crownthorpe – 50mm
  • Edenvale – 40mm
  • Goomeri – 42mm
  • Kingaroy – 36mm (Redmans Rd), 39mm (Knight St), 20mm (First Ave), 40mm, 46mm
  • Kumbia – 15mm
  • Kunioon – 27mm
  • Moffatdale – 44mm
  • Murgon – 47mm
  • Nanango – 28mm (Tarong Road)
  • Nanango East – 25mm
  • Tablelands – 28mm, 30mm
  • Wattle Camp – 52mm
  • Wilkesdale – 20mm
  • Windera – 1.5mm
  • Wondai – 65mm

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