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.
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”