The following article was written by David Thomas, editor of the Bribie Times, in October 1986. David describes a storm that ripped over Bribie and left a trail of damage and debris ...
And it was a beautiful day on Bribie...
Eyewitness Account by David Thomas
Bribie Times, 10 October 1986.
At about 4.00 PM on Monday last, after having enjoyed one of its normal, beautiful Spring days, Bribie Island's peace and quiet was suddenly shattered by "the storm that came from nowhere". In the office of the "Bribie Times", situated right on the waterfront in Welsby Parade, Bongaree, the first warning I had of the approaching storm was an encroaching darkness, and thunder and lightning. Like most Bribie Islanders, I equated nothing more to this than a normal afternoon, Spring storm ... were we to be proved wrong!
About two minutes later the wind that did most of the real damage struck!
This raging, screaming second front, physically ripped limbs, as thick as a man's waist, from the trees. Driving these now lethal weapons at a force sufficient to impale anyone unfortunate (or foolish) enough to be caught outside, we watched in horror as two branches - flying as it thrown by a giant spearsman - arrowed straight through the front windows of the Passage Milk Bar and Muriel Wrigley's Travel office. The vacuum caused by the incredible power of this wind, actually opened the top of a steel Council rubbish bin across the street, and sucked the contents out as if it were a giant vacuum cleaner!
Parked in Kangaroo Avenue with its back to the storm, the killer wind drove a tree branch of over 20 feet in length, through the back window of the car and ended up with its stump forced into the dashboard! The wind has physically pushed the car forward about four metres into the back of the car in front - and it had been in gear, with the handbrake on!
|After the storm - large tree felled by the storm. |
Bribie Times v2(4) 17.10.1986 p. 6.
Power lines were down everywhere and broken tree limbs were hanging off all of the SEQEB lines along the Parade.
But, then I came across the real damage!
In the foreshore park opposite the Caravan Park, the damage was almost unbelievable. Trees that had been there for years were uprooted ... the steel power pole serving the sewerage pump station there had been bent level to ground level at its base plate ... wooden power poles were snapped off at the ground level ... and those trees left standing were virtually stripped of their foliage!
The Bribie Island Bowls Club lost part of its roof and suffered damage to its front awnings.
By 4.30 PM the Council teams had sprung into action, supported by virtually every contractor on the Island who had equipment that could be used in the "big clean-up".
The Bribie ambulancemen, with fortunately nothing to do in their area of expertise, were using their vehicles to assist the Police in road blocks and traffic direction.
The whole population of Bribie owes all of our community services a massive "Thankyou" for the work that was done.
When I questioned Wally as to the fact whether he had gone to church last Sunday, he said, "No, I didn't ... but you can bet your boots I will be there next Sunday!"
"Good on yer, Bribie" ... and today, it's a beautiful day on Bribie!
And it was a beautiful day on Bribie... Eyewitness Account by David Thomas. Bribie Times v.2(3) Oct 10, 1986 pages 1-3.