News

First pictures of Burnett Heads devastation

SUDDEN DEVASTATION: This home had its roof torn off when a tornado slammed onto the coast at Burnett Heads. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
SUDDEN DEVASTATION: This home had its roof torn off when a tornado slammed onto the coast at Burnett Heads. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

PHOTOGRAPHER Max Fleet has described the devastating scenes along the Burnett Heads seafront as he headed out there to cover the damage for the NewsMail.

Mr Fleet said the seaside community had been littered with debris and some homes were missing their roofs by the time he reached the area after the first tornado hit.

After having taken the back roads to get there, he arrived on Sea Esplanade just in time for the second destructive winds to hit.

"I had to stop at one stage along the Esplanade because the rain was so hard," Mr Fleet said.

"The car was shaking and the rain was going sideways. I've never seen rain like it.

"It was like a white-out. Just a total squall."

SUDDEN DEVESTATION: Homes lose their roofs in Burnett Heads as the entire community is rocked by tornados that tear through the region indiscriminately. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
SUDDEN DEVESTATION: Homes lose their roofs in Burnett Heads as the entire community is rocked by tornados that tear through the region indiscriminately. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Shortly afterwards, Mr Fleet approached a policeman on duty to block off the Esplanade when the second, smaller tornado swept in across homes on the seafront.

"There were powerlines down, debris everywhere, and the house right next to us didn't have a roof," he said.

"The wind was so strong that the foam that was being created by the waves crashing on the shore was being blown up over our heads, which was at least 30m away. 

"The powerlines were like toothpicks in this area - just blown all over the place. Not along all the Esplanade, just in this relatively small area. And there was tin and roofing iron blown all about the place too."

SUDDEN DEVESTATION: Homes lose their roofs in Burnett Heads as the entire community is rocked by tornados that tear through the region indiscriminately. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
SUDDEN DEVESTATION: Homes lose their roofs in Burnett Heads as the entire community is rocked by tornados that tear through the region indiscriminately. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Mr Fleet spoke to Scott Rowleson, whose father Danny is the Bundaberg regional councillor for the division taking in Burnett Heads, and who lives in a house behind one that lost its roof.

Mr Rowleson told him on video that he watched his neighbour's roof being swept off by the first tornado.

"He said it was the most horrific thing he'd ever seen," Mr Fleet said.

"His neighbour was in bed when it happened and his neighbour told him he just watched the roof peel off above him."

Topics:  burnett heads, disaster, editors picks, tornado




Alcohol hampers investigation into hotel assault

ASSAULT: A man was taken to hospital after an incident outside the Central Hotel on Friday night.

Victim unable to tell police what happened

QRL responds to Bundaberg's junior rugby league brawl

Bundaberg police on the scene at Salter Oval after a up to 100 people where invovled in a brawl at a junior game.

The Queensland Rugby League talk about the junior brawl

Latest deals and offers

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

Mick Jagger to pay £2.5m to the woman carrying his baby

Mick Jagger is reportedly paying millions to pregnant ballerina

Navy man Keller ready to marry a perfect stranger

Former Navy engineer Keller is a participant in season three of Married At First Sight.

Tattoos are just the surface of Married At First Sight groom.

Ozzy cheated with 5 women in 5 countries: Sharon

Sharon Osbourne claims her husband Ozzy has cheated on her

The Big Music Quiz gives The Block a run for its money

Darren McMullen hosts the TV series The Big Music Quiz.

NEW challenger in TV ratings race shakes up Sunday night.

Britney Spears calls Carpool Karaoke appearance "awkward"

Britney Spears admits her Carpool Karaoke segment was "awkward"

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa