Tornado at Peechelba

By Robert Muir

The wind event at Peechelba last Friday afternoon has been described as “a small tornado” by SES Yarrawonga Unit Controller Rohan Williams.

“It was a small tornado and had done a reasonable amount of damage,” he told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

“The feedlot at Peechelba itself was damaged, the pens extremely damaged and there was some damage right through to the Ovens River.

“About a dozen cattle died. It was bad enough, with about 200 metres of worse damage. There were tree branches on roads.” 

VicPol and the SES attended the scene. The Bureau of Meteorology’s Michael Efron said these types of tornadoes are very difficult to forecast.

“They are fairly localised events - they do tend to develop quickly and then weaken quickly as well,” he said.

One car driver on the road was close enough to the scene at the time of the approximate 4.20pm tornado.

“My car started getting peppered with what I thought was debris, possible it was hail, so I turned my car around to face the opposite direction and ride it out with three kids in the car, at one point our car was rocking, it didn’t last long,” Tamara Louise wrote on social media about the storm.

A State Emergency Services spokeswoman from Melbourne described it as “a wind event”.

The storm also damaged cars in the area. But despite the severe conditions the SES only received 15 call-outs for the area.