Storm rips through Southbrook farm
SOUTHBROOK'S Andrew O'Neil was picking up the pieces yesterday as tornado-like winds wrought havoc at his farm leaving a trail of destruction.
The Dorset Stud felt the full force of Mother Nature with extreme winds peeling off a shed roof while sending animals and a farm hand flying.
Mr O'Neil said he was with two workers when they saw the storm forming, but never expected it to hit with such force.
"I've never experienced anything like it," he said.
"Myself and another person were in the shed and heard a massive bang before the winds snapped through wooden beams and took the roof off the shed next to us.
"My farm hand Cody had run out to get our dogs that were tied up. The wind hit before he could get to shelter sending him and the dogs flying."
Despite the ferocity of the storm, the farmer was thanking his lucky stars nobody was severely injured.
"Cody was shaken up, but otherwise he escaped unharmed," he said.
"The wind was so concentrated. It decimated the shed and brought down some trees.
"However, the family home nearby wasn't touched."
It wasn't the only tornado like phenomena to hit the Downs with motorists on the New England Highway spotting a "gustnado" near Cambooya.
Higgins Storm Chasing's Jeff Higgins said his website was inundated with stories of extreme weather after Thursday's storms.
"Gustnados, although different to tornados, are similar and have the potential to cause significant damage," he said.
"They are formed by hot and cold wind coming together violently like we saw on Thursday.
"Only in strong storms do they occur and can reach speeds in excess of 150kmh."
While further wild storms are not expected across the Downs over the coming week, the Bureau of Meteorology has released a high fire danger warning for the region.
A surface trough bringing gusty winds to the southern interior has the Queensland Rural Fire Service on high alert.
- Today: Cloudy, max 28°
- Tomorrow: Showers, max 26°
- Monday: Cloudy, max 27°
- Tuesday: Showers, max 29°
- Xmas Eve: Sunny, max 28°
- Xmas Day: Cloudy, max 27°