Super storm tears through Snowtown

Blyth-Snowtown Football and Netball Club committee member Derryn Stringer surveys the damage to the pavilion at Snowtown Oval.
Blyth-Snowtown Football and Netball Club committee member Derryn Stringer surveys the damage to the pavilion at Snowtown Oval.

A path of destruction in Snowtown was left in the wake of what has been described as a “superstorm.”

Wind gusts of up to 154 kilometres per hour battered buildings, ripped off roofs and tore down trees in a five minute period of carnage.

At about 6pm on Saturday night a superstorm consistent with tornado-like characteristics ravaged the town, bringing with it 4 milimetres of rain.

The roof of the Blyth-Snowtown pavilion at Snowtown Oval was ripped off and flung into trees across the field just a week after new high-specification modular change rooms were unveiled in an Australian first.

Committee member Derryn Stringer was positive despite the freak act, saying it was “just a blip” in the club’s history.

“It is disheartening, that is all it is. To have it immaculate seven days previous, it is a bit of a drag to see (the pavilion) like that,” he said.

“It is just a freak storm but at the end of the day I would rather this roof be ripped off than people’s houses. 

“On Sunday the amount of farmers who rang up to offer their services to clean up was amazing but we have to wait for the assessors so I have had to hold them all off. But we will band together and the volunteers will re-build it better than it was.

“Even with this little hiccup it hasn’t broken our positivity at all, we our going to be a strong club going forward and appreciate our new facilities.”  

Assessors were at the Snowtown Oval on Tuesday to provide an estimate for the damage.

Between 15 and 20 tasks were ongoing for State Emergency Service and Country Fire Service volunteers with crews assisting with damage to buildings and cleaning up fallen trees and debris.

Extensive damage was also caused to Scoopy’s Fashion and Wash House and to the railway signal building.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Meteorology said a superstorm was “quite rare” however they have occurred throughout the state in the past.

In September 2016 a tornado caused extensive damage to the Blyth township in a similar scenario.

The spokesperson said this is the most likely time of the year for the event to occur.