AFTERMATH: Joe Bugeja has been forced to pick up the pieces after a freak storm damaged his property. Winds were so strong they flipped this tractor cab.
AFTERMATH: Joe Bugeja has been forced to pick up the pieces after a freak storm damaged his property. Winds were so strong they flipped this tractor cab. Emma Murray

'60mm in 10 minutes': Freak storm damages property

JUST when he thought Mother Nature's fury was over, a freak storm has left a Finch Hatton cane farmer picking up the pieces only a week after devastating bushfires destroyed his sugarcane crop.

Joseph Bugeja had only just started considering how he would recover from the bushfire, which destroyed 40ha of his crop, before the worst thunderstorm he had ever witnessed made matters worse.

"We had approximately 60mm of rain and the bulk of it fell in only 10minutes," Mr Bugeja said.

"I can't explain what happened. The amount of hail and wind was similar to a cyclone, everything was dropping over and the wind was horizontal."

 

Finch Hatton cane grower Joe Bugeja has been forced to pick up the pieces after a freak storm damaged his property, just a week after a bushfire damaged his sugarcane crop.
Finch Hatton cane grower Joe Bugeja has been forced to pick up the pieces after a freak storm damaged his property, just a week after a bushfire damaged his sugarcane crop. Emma Murray

Mr Bugeja was visiting a neighbour before he heard a tremendous roar from towards his property.

"The wind sounded like a jet engine. We had multiple trees broken, we had damage to two sheds, water came into the house - there are plenty of repairs that need to be done," he said.

"We have had so many repairs to do prior to the storm. This is what I've been afraid of since the bushfire."

Mr Bugeja has been through multiple cyclones, including Debbie and Ului, however he believed this was the worst storm he had been through and he was worried about the 2019 harvest season.

"I've been applying herbicides to the burnt sugarcane. The hail has deformed all of the cane, our next problem will be the grass.

"I've spent close to $2000 on chemicals trying to beat the grass before it becomes an issue as the trash blanket on the crop has been destroyed."



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