Lexly Black with her grandchildren, Kylie Holzberger and Michael and Belinda Black. Family x-rays were found in the bush 4km away.
Lexly Black with her grandchildren, Kylie Holzberger and Michael and Belinda Black. Family x-rays were found in the bush 4km away. Lexly Black

Wild tornado remembered 25 years on

IN A Wizard of Oz type scene, the Bucca community remembers being hit by one of the country's largest tornadoes on record.

The Bucca Tornado wrecked havoc on November 29, 1992 and despite popular belief, are not uncommon in Australia according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Typically occurring in late spring and summer, a tornado or twister is a violently rotating column of air over land associated with a severe thunderstorm.

The monster that hit Bucca was a category F4, with devastating winds between 333 and 418kmh three houses were completely destroyed while others sustained extensive damage.

One house which was destroyed was the Black's - who John and Lexly Black described hiding in their home as the tornado ripped through it, to the NewsMail in 2013.

One minute was all this F4 tornado needed to demolish John and Lexly Black's house in 1992.
One minute was all this F4 tornado needed to demolish John and Lexly Black's house in 1992. Lexly Black

"All it took was a minute,” said Mrs Black, who escaped falling bricks and major injuries by pushing her head into the hall cupboard.

"My husband John was curled up in a lounge-room chair and missed being impaled by a roof truss by 1cm - he needed 29 stitches for several cuts.

"Our cat, which had been asleep on the washing machine, was never seen again and our dog returned the next day with a broken jaw.”

Perhaps the luckiest survivor of the tornado was Peter Honeywill, of Longs Rd, who was saved by a cricket Test.

The remains of John and Lexly Black's garage and lounge. A wedding photo and crystal vase were found untouched under a pile of bricks, but some items such as roller doors, ceiling fans and a mattress were never seen again.
The remains of John and Lexly Black's garage and lounge. A wedding photo and crystal vase were found untouched under a pile of bricks, but some items such as roller doors, ceiling fans and a mattress were never seen again. Lexly Black

"I was painting the veranda while listening to the cricket on a transistor radio when the power went out and I couldn't do any more sanding,” Mr Honeywill said.

"The jug was already boiled so I made myself a cuppa and went down to the ute to listen to the match with my dog, Honey.”

As the tornado hit, Mr Honeywill's house imploded and his ute - with him inside - was scooped off the ground and flung into the air.

"I remember telling Honey to hang on because we were going over,” he said.

"I used up all my nine lives that day. If I hadn't been in the ute, I wouldn't be here now.”

After the the tornado dumped his ute back on to the ground it was trapped between the house wreckage.

According to a case study done by Jeff Callaghan, a retired senior severe weather forecaster for BOM, there were reports of stones embedded in trees, picture frame embedded in opposite wall, a fridge still missing weeks later and a 3 tonne truck body blown 300m.



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