Tornado tears up Acacia Street

May 03, 2017

Power workers were quickly on the job.

Acacia Street was blocked by felled trees and building debris.

A mini-tornado tore through the industrial estate in Yarrawonga last Wednesday.

Acacia Street was hit the hardest with a large gum tree falling across powerlines and sheds and roofing torn up and blown across the road with business on Benalla Road also sustaining damage

Gerald Nunn from the SES told the Chronicle it was lucky no one was injured during the weather event.

“It happened just after 6am with some extreme wind gusts being recorded at the Yarrawonga Airport and then what appears to be a mini tornado tearing through the industrial estate,” he said.

“It was lucky no one was injured, it is the time when people, especially around Acacia Street, are turning up for work.”

It was certainly blowing a gale that morning with the Bureau of Meteorology recording wind gusts of 90km/h in Yarrawonga at 6.16am on Wednesday with 16.6mm of rain also falling throughout the day.

SES volunteers, Moira Shire staff, police and workers from Powercor and Watters were at the scene and Acacia Street was closed for the majority of the day while the powerlines were repaired and the debris was cleared.

The Yarrawonga Community Opportunity Shop on Benalla Road also sustained damage to its eastern side and was closed for two days while an expert made an assessment and repairs were carried out.

News of the mini-tornado shared on the Yarrawonga Chronicle Facebook page caused quite a stir with the post shared 187 times and reaching more than 42,000 people.

In almost 200 comments made on the Facebook page, many expressed shock at the impact of the fierce weather event, reported sporadic areas of damage and were thankful to have escaped damage in other areas of Yarrawonga.

For others it was a scary reminder of weather disasters in the past, though one Facebook follower commented with scepticism, “glad no one was hurt but every time Yarrawonga has some serious wind it’s an instant tornado”.

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