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After Rockingham, storm brings destruction through Wheatbelt towns of Kulin, Kondinin

By Ben Gubana and Andrew Collins, Monday February 26, 2018 - 13:25 EDT
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A new shed on Janine and Simon Noble's Kulin farm was badly damaged. Simon was sheltering in another nearby shed. - ABC

Wild weather ripped the roof off a primary school, flattened sheds and stranded livestock in Western Australia's Wheatbelt as a severe front that pummelled southern Perth yesterday wreaked a path of destruction through the southern half of the state.

The Bureau of Meteorology said 46 millimetres of rain fell in the small town of Kulin, about 280 kilometres east of Perth, and wind gusts of up to 80 kilometres per hour were recorded.

North Kulin farmer Simon Noble said his wife and young daughters took shelter in the pantry while he was cut off from them and he was forced to shelter in a shed as the storm hit yesterday afternoon.

"I was in my old shed which is right near my house, and lucky I was in my old shed because my new shed is gone," Mr Noble said.

"The wind really picked up and next minute I sort of started seeing tin flying past … [it] just blew the patio completely over the top of my house and down the paddock.

"[I] looked out the patio doors and the new shed was on top of my tractor and header."

After the storm had passed, Mr Noble said he saw his patio furniture about a kilometre away in his neighbour's paddock.

Grant Tuckwell, who farms around 5km south east of Kondinin said the small town looked like a "war zone", with trees left flattened throughout the town.

"We drove past the school and saw that the roof of the school was laying on one side of the road," he said.

"Trees every where, power lines down and fences down. All the residents are busy chain-sawing their hearts out to try and tidy up."

'Rain through the window seals'

The Kondinin Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service said six house roofs had been lost and powerlines were down everywhere.

Captain Roger Northey said no reports of injuries had been received, but they had a long clean-up ahead of them.

"I was in town at the time, I've never experienced anything that intense in my life.

"It was raining that hard rain was coming through window seals on the aluminium windows.

"It was just driving that hard, and wind that fast it just kept coming and coming it wouldn't stop."

Weatherzone meteorologist Kim Westcott said a slow moving deep, low pressure trough had brought .

The storm has moved away from the Perth area and into the Wheatbelt, and is expected to move off into South Australia and weaken considerably.

She said while summer storms were not uncommon this time of year, it had been some time since the region had seen that much rain, and she said people should try to prepare for bad weather.

"It can catch people by surprise," Ms Westcott said.

"(Clear) out the gutters, tying things down as storms are approaching, because some of these storms could be severe as we did see the other day."


© ABC 2018

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