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'I felt glass shattering all over me': South West teenager's near miss during wild storm overnight

Laura Gartry, Monday August 18, 2014 - 21:17 EST
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Siblings Bill and Catherine Carter were home when a wild storm smashed a window and destroyed part of their home. - ABC

A South West teenager narrowly escaped harm after a pergola smashed through a window, showering the room in glass and missing him by centimetres during a wild storm which hit Western Australia on Sunday night.

Carey Park mother Jenny O'Byrne said her son Bill Carter, 14, was home alone with his sister Catherine, 11, when the storm hit the Bunbury suburb.

The outdoor wooden pergola was ripped apart, sending debris flying through the kitchen window and damaging the roof. 

Bill said it was amazing the glass, which imploded inwards as the debris struck, did not cut him. 

"We were in the living room and I heard that the wind was getting stronger and that one of windows was open," he said.

"I went to close the window, and as I was walking through the kitchen there was a huge explosion and I felt glass shattering all over me and I also a saw a really bright green light." 

"I'm really lucky I didn't get cut. 

"It's amazing, who would have known mother nature would be that strong."

Bill said he called the police immediately.

Ms Byrne returned home from her night shift at the local hospital to find the entire patio and veranda on their brick and tile home had "taken flight".

"[There was] significant water damage throughout the whole property, no back fence and my outdoor furniture [had] smashed into my next door neighbours property," she said.

"I haven't lived here long, I lived in Perth for five years and never had anything like this." 

Ms Byrne said the SES came around 1:00am and put 36 sand bags on the roof to prevent further damage. 

She said the clean-up would be an overwhelming task.

"It is frustrating that the clean-up is yet to begin, as my insurance company has to inspect the damage first," she said. 

'Rubberneckers' cause chaos in worst-hit areas

The City of Bunbury said a total of 50 requests were received by the local branch of the State Emergency Services.

Kinkella Park and Carey Park were Bunbury's hardest hit suburbs affected by the overnight destructive winds and heavy rains.

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said some properties had lost their whole roof.

Four properties were deemed too dangerous to tackle at night, due to being two-storey or otherwise hazardous.

Mr Brennan said scores of people "rubber-necking and sight-seeing" in the storm were affecting the suburb of Carey Park and making the area difficult to access.

The council has asked for residents only to be in the area.

The SES has reminded residents to tie down any loose items which may become hazardous in the event of more severe weather.


© ABC 2014

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