A fallen tree outside the Gundiah school grounds.
A fallen tree outside the Gundiah school grounds.

Tree crushes new car in storm

FOUR days after buying a brand new car, Janell Day was devastated to find her pride and joy squashed under the weight of a large tree on Tuesday afternoon.

The Gundiah teacher aide was too upset to talk to the Chronicle yesterday but husband Bevan said Ms Day had parked a car under that tree for the past 30 years.

The tree had been through many storms but on Tuesday it didn’t hold up, Mr Day said.

“(The storm) came in with a vengeance.”

Gundiah school principal Rita Ellen said 29 students had been in the playground just minutes before the savage thunder storm struck the small Tiaro community about 1pm.

“It was lunch time and the weather was a bit cooler, for a change, so they were all outside,” Ms Ellen said.

“When we heard a clap of thunder we went inside and only just had enough time to shut the windows and it hit.”

Ms Ellen said the wind was so ferocious that she feared it would smash a window.

“We had the kids on the other side of the room ... they were very frightened.

“I’ve never seen a storm approach so quickly.”

The tree that fell on Ms Day’s car was among dozens that either fell or were damaged in nature’s 10-minute fury. Debris was still scattered across the school yard yesterday morning as Ms Ellen waited for work crews to clean up the mess.

A tree in the yard of Ms Ellen’s neighbouring home was also uprooted and her garden shed and clothes line destroyed.

“We’re lucky there was no structural damage at the school other than just some water in an old building,” she said.

Publican Kim McDonald from the Gundy Pub was also amazed at how quickly the storm had approached.

“It came from the west and spun around to the south.

“It was wild; there was debris just floating away on streams of water.”

Ms McDonald also said staff had used garbage bins to catch the storm water that gushed through the pub’s ceiling.

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