Freak storm batters Pindar farm as wind gusts cause havoc

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
The Flannagan's shed was left in ruins from the storm.
Camera IconThe Flannagan's shed was left in ruins from the storm. Credit: Mark Flannagan.

A rogue storm event tore through a Pindar farm on Friday afternoon, leaving a machinery shed in ruins and workers who were sheltering inside shaken from the freak incident.

Five farm workers, including property owner John Flannagan, ran to the shed for cover when heavy rain lashed the area.

Without warning, the shed was suddenly blown into the air, luckily over the top of everyone inside.

The storm only lasted a few minutes, but it did plenty of damage.

Mr Flannagan’s brother and farming partner Mark Flannagan said the Pindar property, near Mullewa, resembled a war zone.

“It was like a bomb was going off,” he said.

“The guys reckon the shed was gone in a blink of an eye.

“It was a hell of a force.”

He said it was lucky no one was injured.

“If the shed had been dragged sideways it wouldn’t have been good at all,” he said.

“It could have gone anywhere.

“They thought they were taking shelter in the shed to get out of it.”

The heavy winds snapped several power poles in the area, leaving a number of residents without electricity for much of the weekend.

Mr Flannagan said the “mini-tornado” brought back memories of cyclone Seroja.

He said the ruined shed was a big loss for the farm given how long it was taking to get anything built.

“We are really disappointed because we just know you can’t get anything done,” he said.

“It’s going to be difficult to replace in a hurry.

“It’s 42 degrees every day for the next week, so you don’t have anything to work underneath.”

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