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Fruit trees and vines wiped out by freak hail storm in Sunraysia

Deb O'Callaghan and Nikolai Beilharz, Monday November 24, 2014 - 11:35 EDT
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Hail storm damages wine grape crops in north-west Victoria - ABC

A freak hail storm has caused devastating damage to property, fruit trees and vines in Sunraysia on the weekend.

The New South Wales SES says the storm hit the region on Saturday afternoon and there have been reports of trees falling on to houses and roofs being blown away.

Gol Gol wine grape and rockmelon grower Dennis Mills described it as a 'tornado' that obliterated crops.

"When you look down the rows and you see these thousands upon thousands of melons, you actually don't know what you are going to do.

"I've spoken to a few people, and one of my neighbours last night estimates it's probably cost him a million and a half dollars in both this year and what the damage will be next year."

The Sunraysia Tablegrape Growers' Association's John Argiro says the hail wiped out his crops in the Merbein and Yelta districts.

"My father has been out here for 50 years and he told me, as a kid growing up, he says it follows the river. I've certainly, it's the first time I can remember a hail storm like this going through and making a mess the way it has."



© ABC 2014

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