Mini-tornado terror. Oh, what a night! What a fright!

Published: November 14, 2016
Caravan park damaged by cyclone

The grey nomads caught in the eye of the storm as a mini-tornado ripped through a Sunshine Coast beachside caravan park yesterday afternoon have been talking about their terrifying ordeal.

Visitors and residents at the Dicky Beach Caravan Park near Caloundra cowered in fear as high winds sent tables and chairs flying, ripped the tiles off roofs, and pulled trees out of the ground. The super cell storm passed through in just five minutes … but it will live far longer in the memory of those who lived through it.

Ross Spencer told the ABC he and his wife had just set up the campervan when the storm hit.

“The wife was in the camper and she was saying ‘get inside, get inside’ because a piece of timber flew past me and just missed me,” he said. “I actually saw it all unfold, I was watching the vans with the annexes getting ripped … and our van was lifted off the ground that much that the gentleman’s clothesline next door flew underneath the canvas, we had to lift the camper up to lift the clothesline out.”

Grey nomads Clem and Pam Kennedy were lucky that they were out for the afternoon when the storm tore though the van park, but they arrived back to find ‘a mess’.

“The awning was ripped off the caravan … it’s about four or five metres, fairly sizeable but it happened so quickly nobody seemed to have a chance to roll their awning up,” said Clem. “They were talking about 160km/hr winds — it just went through like a mini tornado.”

Miraculously, no one was hurt in the drama. The Sunshine Coast Council, which owns the caravan park, told the ABC that the damaged buildings were being assessed for asbestos.

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