DEVASTATION: Cane farmer Ronald Feierabend's cane crop was damaged by Thursday night's hailstorm.
DEVASTATION: Cane farmer Ronald Feierabend's cane crop was damaged by Thursday night's hailstorm. Mike Knott BUN121018HAIL1

'Super cell' scare: 'I've never been through such a thing'

MOTHER Nature showed what she was made of on Thursday night as her force came down on Gin Gin and surrounding areas in what has been described as one of the biggest weather events seen by the town's long-term residents.

The scale of damage was not seen until yesterday morning when people ventured out in the daylight.

Cane farmer Ronald Feierabend said his crops received significant damage. However, he was surprised more hadn't been caused by the "super cell".

He owns a cane farm on the Bruce Highway about 10 minutes south of town and said the hail was the biggest he'd seen in the past 40 years.

"There was 10 minutes of non-stop hail, and it wasn't round hail - it was the block and about 7cm in size," he said.

"I had 39mm of rain in 15 minutes, 67mm in total and there's about 5 inches of water around the house now.

"The feeling today and yesterday is that the real storm season is here.

"It really was eerie last night, I've never been through such a thing."

He said the storm was strange as it appeared to hit some properties and miss others. When it came down it was so loud I couldn't speak on the phone," he said.

"It really was pelting down."

Mr Feierabend wasn't the only resident who was shocked by the ferocity of the storm.

Gin Gin Post Office owners Eddie and Sally Stone were run off their feet yesterday making sure everyone was okay.

"Eddie is out checking properties and has heard there's a lot of damage about," Mrs Stone said.

"Trees were everywhere this morning and so many places have been effected."

Mrs Stone had heard stories from many of the locals who came to check in.

"Bullyard residents said they were hit bad," she said.

"I understand IGA had massive damage too and Eftpos and mobiles have been down."

Elliott St resident Bob Sadler has lived in the area for 15 years and said he wasn't scared, but concerned about the damage it could have caused.

The 92 year old said it was the biggest storm he'd ever seen and was thankful he was kept safe inside his home.

"Lightening could be seen all around the horizon and lumps of ice as big as my fist were banging constantly on my roof," he said.

He said the storm was relentless, but at his age there was no way he'd step outside for a better look.

"It was constant for an hour, but I didn't go outside as it was too dangerous," he said.

"I had 80mm of rain here overnight."

Mr Feierabend spent the morning cleaning out his gutters in preparation for any more bad weather to come.

"I was up on the roof and saw there was a lot of hail damage on the tiles," he said.



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