Emergency services were surprised to see the damage caused to a Kepnock unit Tuesday where a freak gust of wind tore the roof off.
Emergency services were surprised to see the damage caused to a Kepnock unit Tuesday where a freak gust of wind tore the roof off. Max Fleet

Roof 'gone with the wind'

THE residents of a Kepnock unit block have been left to find temporary shelter after a freak blast of wind tore the roof off their building Tuesday afternoon.

The corrugated iron roof was peeled from the flats, and blew into a neighbouring yard - knocking out power to the unit complex.

Bureau of Meteorology forecasters were at a loss to explain what caused the sudden strong gust.

Ken Stringer watched in amazement as the roof of his Kepnock unit was ripped from the building by a sudden blast of wind yesterday afternoon.

“I was watching the television when I head a roar outside and came to investigate,” Mr Stringer explained.

“I saw the roof start to lift and rise, then it just peeled off.”

The giant strip of corrugated iron was blown several metres and landed behind the building on the corner of Baker and Wyllie streets, hitting the gutter of a neighbouring property and knocking out electricity to the units.

The ten-second blast picked up wheelie bins at neighbouring homes, but left others standing - just metres away.

Mr Stringer was adamant that it would take more than a gust of wind to dislodge him from the unit, where he has lived for the past 25 years.

“There's no cracks in the ceiling or damage inside,” he said.

“I don't want to leave the place unattended.”

However, with no roof, electricity or usable toilets, the building was not suitable for habitation.

Mr Stringer and the residents of the two other affected units will need to find temporary accommodation until repairs are made.

SES Bundaberg deputy controller Bill Buckley said crews were working yesterday afternoon to put tarpaulins over the damaged building.

Ergon Energy corporate communications manager Rod Rehbein said power workers had made safe the power supply after responding to calls from police and a neighbour shortly after 2.30pm.

“Supply has been disconnected to three units in Wyllie Street,” Mr Rehbein said.

“Ergon Energy crews will return to reconnect the power supply once the property owners have had the necessary repairs done.”

Queensland Fire and Rescue station officer Glenn Gifford said there was no sign of a breeze by the time fire crews arrived on the scene yesterday afternoon.

“I've never seen anything like it,” Mr Gifford said.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Gavin Holcombe was stumped by the occurrence.

“I have got absolutely no idea what could have caused it,” Mr Holcombe said.

He said the gust may have been a “dust devil” or “willy-willy”.

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