Weather News

Surprise storm batters outback town

By Lisa Kingsberry and Chrissy Arthur, Tuesday November 29, 2011 - 13:27 EDT
Audience submitted image
Storm damaged skate park at Richmond. - Audience submitted

A freak wind storm has caused significant damage at Richmond, east of Mount Isa, in north-west Queensland.

Richmond council chief executive officer Michelle Clarke says the without warning about 6:00pm (AEST).

She says residents reported winds stronger than when Cyclone Yasi passed through earlier this year.

Ms Clarke says two homes have lost their roofs, a number of trees are down and one visitor was lucky not to be injured when debris went through a motel window.

"Two motels that are damaged, one from their car port structure flying through the air and then causing damage to the mud hut, with debris flying into one of their motel rooms," she said.

"Fortunately for the occupant he was having dinner at the time and he wasn't injured.

"Ergon Energy were working late into the night to try and restore power because there were power poles on fire."

Radar needed

Ms Clarke says the storm highlights the need for another weather radar in the region.

She says more warning about the damaging winds would have helped residents prepare.

"Everybody is saying it was far worse than what we experienced during Cyclone Yasi and it took everyone by surprise because we didn't have any warning," she said.

"Without a radar over this area, no-one can tell us specifically where a storm is going to hit.

"Mount Isa will get a [weather] radar soon, but that still won't help the mid-west because the Mount Isa radar will only have a 500-kilometre radius."

The weather bureau did issue a storm warning for the region, but the council says the storm was underway when that happened.

The bureau says Richmond is not included in the current program aimed at improving weather radar coverage, but could be considered in the future.


- ABC

© ABC 2011

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