Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property.
Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property. Sunrise

PATH OF DESTRUCTION: Storm smashes Gin Gin family farm

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 Bundaberg region property unscathed.

Bungadoo resident Betina Wilks said she returned to her family farm on Tuesday to find her home a mess.

"It was just devastation from word 'go'," she told Sunrise this morning.

"We parked the car and just started walking and filming and trying to absorb it all."

Footage of the damage 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.

Betina Wilks on Sunrise.
Betina Wilks on Sunrise. Sunrise

"We've got a new house being built on the place that was burnt down last year, so the first thing I seen [sic] was there was trees laying on that, and that's not even finished being built," she told Sunrise.

"My prop house, my green house were gone, my pump shed was gone, my cattle yards they were just completely gone.

"It was just so many trees everywhere, it was just surreal to see."

Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property.
Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property. Sunrise

Ms Wilks said though a few of her friends had come to help her with the clean-up of her property, she "didn't know where to begin".

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Andrew Bufalino said the storm that hit the region was a "mesovortice ... which occur quite often across Australia".

"It's a similar storm to what caused Australia Zoo to close for about a week a while ago," he said.

Mesovortices are extremely isolated and are usually confined to a very small area within a storm.

"There was a broad area of activity that was impacted that day (Tuesday) in Bundaberg, but as far as wind damage it was just that little patch (near Gin Gin)," Mr Bufalino said.

Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property.
Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property. Sunrise

"Mesovortices can be extremely rough. They're on the leading edge of a thunderstorm.

"They're not the same as a tornado, which develops from the middle of a thunderstorm or supercell, while a mesovortice develops from the surface up."

After the storm hit, Ms Wilks sent photos of the damage to Higgins Storm Chasing, who helped her set up a GoFundMe page.

Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property.
Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property. Sunrise

"Jeff and his team have helped make me a GoFundMe page and sent though a donation thanks to the support of his customers," she wrote on her now-set up page.

"I am at loss to know how to rebuild ... I never expected them to help me like this."

Councillor Wayne Honour said his wife, who was home when the storm hit, said the mesovortice's winds were as strong as she'd ever seen.

He said reported rainfall varied from 15mm to 80mm.

Unfortunately, this is far from the first time Ms Wilks's property has been hit by major weather events.

"I haven't had much luck since I moved to Queensland," she wrote.

Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property.
Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property. Sunrise

In 2013 Ms Wilks's property was severely flooded and in 2016 a fire destroyed her home.

"And now a (storm) impacted my home," she wrote.

"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.

"My transport trailer was thrown 200 metres and was destroyed. Large parts of my home have succumbed to widespread damage.

Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property.
Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property. Sunrise

"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 either destroyed or damaged."

Ms Wilks's GoFundMe page has so far raised $3605, with at least 37 people already donating to the cause.

On the page she wrote: "I would greatly appreciate the help of others during this difficult time and any support would be welcomed".

Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property.
Storm leaves path of destruction at Bungadoo property. Sunrise

"If there any locals who can help me clean up on my property, that would also be appreciated. Please contact Higgins Storm Chasing by email at admin@higginstormchasing.com for details," she said.

To donate to Ms Wilks's GoFundMe page, go to https://www.gofundme.com/betina-wilks-qld-freak-storm-amp-tornado-victim.



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