WILD WEATHER HITS GIN GIN
Severe weather thrashes farm for a third time
A DESTRUCTIVE storm has unleashed strong winds and a heavy downpour at a family farm near Gin Gin, leaving a path of destruction that left only 25 per cent of the property unscathed.
Bungadoo resident Betina Wilks said she returned to her family farm on Tuesday to find her home a mess.
“My transport trailer was thrown 200 metres and was destroyed (and) large parts of my home have succumbed to widespread damage,” she said.
“Our stock yard fences for our 50 head of cattle were toppled, and the water pump and shed, dairy and other various workshops and sheds were either destroyed or damaged.”
Footage of the damage taken by Ms Wilks shows fallen fences, flattened sheds, uprooted trees, torn-off roofing and an upturned trailer.
Ms Wilks estimated about 75 per cent of her farm had been affected by the storm.
And though a few of her friends have since come to help her clean up her property, Ms Wilks said she “didn’t know where to begin”.
“I am at loss to know how to rebuild,” she said.
After coming home to the damage, Ms Wilks sent photos of her home to Higgins Storm Chasing, who helped her set up her now-up-and-running GoFundMe page.
“Jeff and his team helped make me (it) and sent though a donation thanks to the support of his customers,” she said.
“I never expected them to help me like this.”
The damage from Tuesday’s storm spread far and wide around the Gin Gin area, with Bundaberg Region councillor Wayne Honour saying his wife, who watched the storm unfold, had never seen winds as strong.
He said reported rainfall had varied from 15mm to 80mm.
Unfortunately, this is far from the first time Ms Wilks’s property has been hit by a major weather event.
“I haven’t had much luck since I moved to Queensland,” she said.
In 2013 Ms Wilks’s property was severely flooded and in 2016 a fire destroyed her home.
“And now a (storm) impacted (it),” she said.
“I rely on my Lucerne tree farm as income. My work with my trees gives me so much enjoyment, but this has now been destroyed. The building that housed my growing trees was ripped to shreds.”
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Andrew Bufalino told the NewsMail the storm that hit the region was “not a tornado, but a mesovortice ... which are common but extremely isolated, and are usually confined to a very small area within a storm”.
“Mesovortices can be extremely rough,” he added.
Ms Wilks’s GoFundMe page has so far raised $3605, with at least 37 people already donating to the cause.
To help, visit the page online by going to https://goo.gl/ DXmo7P.
PATH OF DESTRUCTION: A severe storm on Tuesday has damaged more than 75 per cent of a Bungadoo resident’s property. INSET: Farm owner Betina Wilks.