THERE SHE BLOWS: The Bundaberg race track was a mess Tuesday afternoon when wild winds and rain ripped through the area, destroying marquees and furniture in a Cup day they won't forget.
THERE SHE BLOWS: The Bundaberg race track was a mess Tuesday afternoon when wild winds and rain ripped through the area, destroying marquees and furniture in a Cup day they won't forget. Michael Zunker

Race-goers duck for cover as supercell hits

BUNDABERG race-goers had to duck for cover Tuesday afternoon when the supercell unleashed its fury just before 5pm.

Jubilant punters were taken by surprise as the ominous clouds turned sinister and winds whipped marquees into shreds at the Thabeban grounds.

Bundaberg Race Club secretary Shanyn Limpus said the club had sustained thousands of dollars worth of damage but there had been no reports of any injuries, thankfully.

"I think the power of that storm took a lot of people by surprise," she said.

"We could see it coming but we didn't realise the rain and wind was going to be that strong. The force of those winds completely ruined all of our gazebos and marquees that we own at the club. Everything has pretty much been ripped to pieces."

Ms Limpus said it was fortunate the storm hit when it did.

 

CHAOS AT THE TRACK: The Bundaberg race track was left with bottles and furniture strewn across the ground after the freak storm hit.
CHAOS AT THE TRACK: The Bundaberg race track was left with bottles and furniture strewn across the ground after the freak storm hit. Michael Zunker

"Luckily our final race was over and done with by 4.30pm, so most people had left the racecourse by that time or were making their way out," she said.

"The majority of people over at the Sea FM tent were gone because had that storm hit earlier than it did, we may have had a few issues because the tent fell down, the entire thing collapsed," she said.

Ms Limpus said it was one of the craziest things she had ever seen but was thankful everyone was safe.

"It was very scary for the people who were caught out in the middle of the track especially, but most people were able to get under cover and out of it," she said.

"With the amount of things that were flying through the air, luckily in our preparations we tied a lot of our stuff down quite securely. But we didn't anticipate anything like that happening."

The race day co-ordinator said she hoped insurance would cover any losses.

"We've had damage to our televisions, our tills, pretty much anything that was out," she said.

"A lot of our table decorations smashed and blown away. A lot of our furniture and also the craft. Hopefully insurance should cover that."

She said volunteers had helped them get through the afternoon and during the clean-up this morning.

"We had some volunteers that came and helped us pull it all down this morning and we had a really great group of security guys that made sure everyone was safe yesterday.

"They were excellent, they ran around making sure that everyone was good before the emergency services came and checked as well.

"It was a pretty bad ending to a really good day. We had 1000 people there, so we were pretty happy with that."

The story wasn't so great for race-goers looking at getting home however, as taxis were run off their feet at the height of the storm.



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