Now 87 and living in nearby Cunderdin, Ann Williams remembers the colour of the sky on that Monday morning.
It was an unusual greenish-yellow. It was a colour she had never seen before. And one she never wants to see again. It was windy, with strong gusts blowing leaves and sticks against the house.
Mrs Williams was making a cup of tea for her visiting brother-in-law and her husband Trevor, who had just returned from a trip into town to deliver lambs to the rail head.
“I had just put the cups and saucers out on the table and the cups startled rattling on the saucers,” she said. “Everything shook and rattled. The noise just kept getting louder and louder.
“I managed to get outside to try to reach the back room where the two children were, but I was thrown against a wall.
“Then I saw the paddock looking like a sea of waves and the trees were shaking violently, breaking off limbs and branches. I can still hear the noise of the things falling and crashing inside the house.
“After I got to where the children were, I couldn’t see anything for dust. I yelled out and they answered.
“They had managed to pull the door open to get themselves out. They were coughing and spluttering and covered in dust.
“Our neighbour’s house was literally just a roof on top of a pile of rubble.
“An 88-year-old lady was buried in the rubble. Four men had to get through the roof and the ceiling to find her.
“Somehow she had managed to get her face under a small table and use a handkerchief to brush the dirt and dust away from her mouth and nose.
“Over the following few weeks, I helped in the emergency kitchen that had been set up at the showgrounds to feed the locals.
“We made nearly 9000 meals over three weeks.
“People could not have been more generous. We got donations from everywhere. People in Northam donated frying pans. Others donated sheep for slaughter. Peters Ice Cream brought up refrigerators from Perth. And we had donations of milk, cream, eggs and butter.
“Out-of-town people arrived at the showgrounds with cars loaded with biscuits and cakes.
“No one went without. People even made sure everyone in town had a Christmas cake or pudding for Christmas Day.
“People were absolutely wonderful. Except the looters. Some people lost garden hoses, pot plants, even fruit off their trees.”