Hail hor­ror for mum and daugh­ter caught in storm

Waikato Times - - World -

A Queens­land mother and her in­fant daugh­ter have been pelted by hail­stones af­ter her ve­hi­cle’s win­dows were smashed while she was caught on a high­way dur­ing Thurs­day’s se­vere storms and tor­na­dos.

Fiona Simp­son posted images of her in­juries on Face­book and re­counted her story of tak­ing the brunt of the storm while on the D’Aguilar High­way, about 200 kilo­me­tres north-west of Bris­bane, with her baby and grand­mother in the ve­hi­cle.

‘‘I’ve learnt my les­son to­day, never drive in a hail storm!’’ she wrote.

Simp­son said they parked on the side of the high­way as the storm in­ten­si­fied, then hail blew out the win­dows.

‘‘I cov­ered my in­fant with my body to stop her from get­ting badly in­jured.

‘‘My en­tire back, arms and head are badly bruised.

‘‘I’m just so re­lieved that my daugh­ter and grand­mother are all right.

‘‘Please, please be care­ful in this storm sea­son. I know I’ll be sore to­mor­row, does any­one know of a cream or oint­ment that will help with the bruis­ing?’’

Su­per-cell storms and tor­na­dos have torn roofs from homes and de­stroyed crops, leav­ing a trail of de­struc­tion in south­ern Queens­land.

Farm­ers in the mid­dle of har­vest sea­son have lost their crops, and are now look­ing at huge fi­nan­cial losses.

The Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy said the South Bur­nett re­gion and other parts of the south­east copped the brunt of three se­vere storms, two of them su­per-cell storms, with two tor­na­dos also sighted.

At Black­wa­ter, in cen­tral Queens­land, winds gusted to 144kmh, a wind speed as­so­ci­ated with a Cat­e­gory 2 cy­clone. The winds tore roofs off homes and busi­nesses and hail­stones as large as ten­nis balls de­stroyed wheat, bar­ley, melon and stone fruit crops, downed power lines, and cut roads.

Queens­land Dairy Farm­ers pres­i­dent Brian Tess­mann said the storm’s fury at his Coolabunia farm was like noth­ing he’d ever seen, with winds tear­ing the roofs from his home and dairy.

‘‘The roof came off and it was bed­lam from there, try­ing to hold doors shut, and wa­ter com­ing through the ceil­ing, and things fly­ing through the air. It was quite some­thing,’’ he told the ABC.

‘‘I saw it leav­ing out the win­dow as it went in a cou­ple of large pieces.’’

State Op­po­si­tion Leader Deb Freck­lin­ton said many farm­ers in her elec­torate of Nanango suf­fered enor­mous losses, hav­ing en­dured sim­i­larly dev­as­tat­ing storms on Box­ing Day last year.

‘‘The hu­man side of this is that peo­ple will lose their jobs to­day be­cause there is no fruit left to pick,’’ she said.

‘‘This was a huge storm. Many homes will be un­live­able. For the farm­ers in par­tic­u­lar, the peo­ple who have just got roofs back on af­ter Box­ing Day, this is just so sad.’’ – Fair­fax/AAP

Kin­garoy mother Fiona Simp­son shielded her daugh­ter as they were ham­mered by hail.

Fiona Simp­son was in­jured af­ter hail blew out the win­dows of her car.

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