$10k whirly wind sends clothesline flying
A FREAK whirly wind which ripped through an Ogilvie Rd backyard on Sunday afternoon has been compared to "a mini Cyclone Marcia" by residents.
The whirly wind, which hit just two homes, is estimated to have caused as much as $10,000 damage - destroying the annex of a caravan, ripping tiles of a roof and sending a clothesline flying across the backyard.
When home owner Caroline Phillips looked out her window and saw the clothes on the line going around and around she thought a storm was coming.
"I thought to myself 'I better get the washing off the line'," she said. "Next minute it was up in the air."
So strong was the wind, that it ripped the caravan annex straight off the poles and blew pieces of it on to the neighbour's roof.
"We had to get up on our neighbour's roof and put the tiles back on," Mrs Phillips said.
"We're waiting on an insurance assessor but we think the damage could be over $10,000."
Whirly winds are a common weather phenomenon, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Bureau media and communications manager Jess Carey said whirly winds were hard to predict and nearly impossible to measure.
"They can touch down in a small spot and cause localised damage," he said.
"They are similar to dust devils which occur out west."
The Phillips are now left with the clean-up bill from the whirly wind, which was unlike anything they had ever seen before.
"It was just amazing," Mrs Phillips said. "We lived at Bony Mountain for a few years and had little ones out there that picked up leaves."