Bunbury Tornado blogging

Duncan Riley> A blog scoop of a lifetime but alas my wife is interstate and she has the digital camera with her. What I saw today would have warranted going and buying another camera had any of the shops been open this morning, but alas not, but I do have a good excuse for a quiet blogging day.

A “mini-tornado” hit my part of the world this morning just after 6am. Fortunately I live in an outer suburb so a part from some minor leaks, a messy yard (including my washing being blown off the line) and intermittent power, all is well. But I had some work to attend to this morning and I headed into town early (7:30) not realising the extent of the damage. When Americans talk of the damage tornadoes do, you can only imagine until you see it up close and in person. But perhaps what was the most amazing aspect was the narrow band of intense damage. Streets less that 40m apart where 1 street remained relatively untouched and another looked like down-town Baghdad on a bad day, and that was the running joke in Bunbury today, that the town had gone to war, and had lost.

I hope to capture a few shots from the public broadcasters 7pm news tonight to give some idea of the damage. News.com.au reports on the crane collapse which wiped out the local ABC Studio, to see a crane sitting on top of a building is like nothing I’ve ever seen, and I would imagine moving it will be even harder. Power lines were down every where, houses with out roofs, in the street back from my “other job” was the worst of the carnage. The local VW/ Hyundai dealer was totally destroy. Other building will undoubtedly be condemned. On the main street into town where the tornado also crossed, the local Clark Rubber outlet was destroyed, and the road was litters with foam mattresses and the like. Old style sheet metal roofing in common in the older parts, and flying sheet metals doesn’t mix well with power lines. Any how, back soon, I need to do some cleaning, the garden has flowed onto the drive way, and I need to sort the washing out.

Update: GWN News reports that the tornado came in off the sea and wiped out a line of houses in East Bunbury before crossing the edge of the CBD. It also wiped out the Bunbury Train Station. Winds were estimated at between 140km and 200km/ hour in the centre of the tornado. Police are now warning against looting, although I’d hope that nothing like that would ever happen in this part of the world.

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More Update: 7 News @ 6pm reports that the SW of Western Australia was struck be at least 3 tornadoes, damage bad in Perth as well, Bicton, Applecross hit. Witnesses saying they saw actual tornadoes, one chap saying “it was like an American movie”

View Comments (11)
  • When I lived in Glendalough, Perth, we were faced with a massive cyclone heading down the coast towards us. It was set to hit land at Fremantle and travel up the Swan river before devastating Perth. Naturally, my family had taken the little train service to Fremantle to spend Saturday afternoon in the flea market. They were uncontactable and our only car was in the dock. When the air turned orange I was frantic. But they turned up later, asking what all the fuss was about. The cyclone had turned inland further north. But it was a nasty experience.

    I hope you’re all OK down there in Bunbury.

  • I’ve only been in two Tornado Watches, one in SW Virginia and one in North Texas, here in the US, so I can only imagine the terror of actually getting hit by one. I never knew they were a problem down under.

  • Hi,
    I live in busselton (a little over 30 mins drive from bunbury), that day i was at TAFE and i only found out that bunbury had been hit by a tornado when i arrived home later that evening. I was completely shocked! i thought australia was safe from all that. I mean we get cyclones up north and we get some strong storms, but i never thought tornados will hit australia!
    Im happy to hear that no one was majorly hurt, and i believe no one had died. I saw the pictures of the aftermath and it is shocking.
    I spent last weekend in perth, I drove up the back way (which goes thought armidale, gosnells, harvey etc). Armidale had gotten hit aswell and it was just a mess driving up. trees uprooted, roofs missing.
    I was reading the sunday times i think while in perth and it had a little article about the tornados. Apparently WA has had 35 or 36 tornados in the past 6 years. Which i was completly shocked at because i had no idea. Also it said Mandurah is WA’s tornado alley.
    Even Saturdays storm had a tornado (waterspout).
    whats this world coming too? tornados, earthquakes, ice melting, tsunamis..I really think that earthquake/tsunami really messed up this world. We are getting strange weather not just natural disasters.

  • Keshia,
    was speaking to someone in Busselton the day it all happened, they were saying that the storm was bad down there, I told them it was worse here and they didn’t believe me :-)
    Bizarre to think that we apparently live in “Tornado Alley”

  • Hi,

    I received an email three days after this blog was posted with photos of a tornado near Bunbury WA.

    Here they are… http://www.froling.com.au/bunbury

    A month later a relly in Melbourne sends me identical photos of “Cyclone Ingrid” (which didn’t get south of Kununurra, back in March)

    Is this Bunbury countryside in the pics? Great photos of a storm anyway. Might be Chinese Whispers in picture form. :-)

  • i lived in bunbury when the tornado hit it is called a cock eyed bob it was terrifying because i was at home when it hit my mum sister and i rushed to the lounge room and we thought we were going to die,it sounded like a big jet plane crashing down to our house and i felt helpless because i couldnt see what i was doing becausec the power went out so i reached for the torch all shatking with fear. so these people that were terrified i feel what you feel.

  • hey i live in bunbury and none of the pictures ‘supposedly’ taken look anything like bunbury or its surrounds i think tim is right in the fact its chinese whispers in pictures form.these pictures look like stills from a movie or from america.whoever took these photos are obviously trying to spread panic and its a pathetic thing to do.

  • Ke?
    the picture here is of the crane that feel on the ABC Centre on Witenoon St, I was at the post office that moring at about 7:30 and saw it with my own eyes!

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