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Tornado strikes Queensland town, rips roof off house

MAROONDAN residents have been left with a path of destruction after a "tornado" ripped a roof off a house, destroyed sheds and smashed hundreds of trees.

Bill and Angela Schulke had just arrived home and were sitting on their veranda about 3pm Sunday when they didn't know what was about to hit them.

Mr Shulke said the wind came out of nowhere and he rushed to get his family safely into the house.

"I saw the trees change and yelled to everyone to get inside and into the bathroom," he said.

"It was a panic to look around and see what I could cover them with to keep them safe.

"It didn't last long and your instincts kick in straight away to make sure the family is safe."

He said the main damage to the house was in the lounge room and veranda, where the roof was ripped off.

The roof flipped over the house and landed about 60m up the road. A makeshift roof of tarps is now trying to keep the water out.

"The ceiling to the lounge room popped up and the glass sliding doors were flexed enough to pop out when I tried to close them the wind was that strong," Mr Shulke said.

"These old peppermint trees have around for a long time and they tops have just been ripped off them.

"I cut timber for a long time and know how to hurts when a branch hits you - there's no hope when you have a tree come through your living room."

STORM WEATHER: Trees and property along Purkis Corner Road Maroondan were damaged by a tornado. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
STORM WEATHER: Trees and property along Purkis Corner Road Maroondan were damaged by a tornado. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

The father of three said the family had to evacuate the house and have gone to stay with friends in town, with no time frame of how long it may take to repair the house.

Mrs Shulke said, fortunately, the family was insured.

"We are insured and have had the assessors in, but we aren't really allowed to go through the house in case there is asbestos," she said.

"We assume it may take months to get us living back here."

Neighbour Robbert Bradfield said his property had a lot of damage to fences, with giant trees squashing them.

Mr Bradfield said he believed the damage zone covered an area 2km long about about 500m wide.

"It was definitely a tornado - it twisted trees and snapped them half way," Mr Bradfield said.

"These are old giant trees which have been around for a long time and it only took seconds to destroy them."

Topics:  editors picks tornado wildweather



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