Perth weather: Butler trail of destruction after freak wind gusts batter northern suburbs

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Rourke WalshThe West Australian
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The damage left by the freak weather in Butler.
Camera IconThe damage left by the freak weather in Butler. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

A freak wind gust residents described as being like a “mini tornado” has torn through a street in Perth’s northern suburbs, flattening fences and sending a trampoline flying through the air.

The wild weather happened about 12.40pm on Staplehurst Crescent in Butler and lasted less than one minute.

The damage was limited to just a handful of houses but residents say it was like being in the middle of a “mini tornado”.

Teighan Hansen had just got home when the wind gusts came out of nowhere.

She was trapped in her car as it passed but said it only lasted seconds and within a few minutes the weather changed again completely and blue skies returned.

“I was reversing into the driveway and this gust of wind just came rushing down the street,” she said.

Fences were buckled by the freak weather today.
Camera IconFences were buckled by the freak weather today. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

“I was going to Snapchat it but I could get my phone out quick enough, that’s how fast it happened.

“All three fences, my daughter’s bedroom window and my roof are all damaged. We assume the neighbour’s trampoline has hit my roof on the way past and ended up all the way at the end of the street.”

Ben Boschman said he was sitting at his kitchen table when he heard the wind suddenly crank up like a jet engine.

He only realised after it had passed that his childrens’ trampoline had been thrown into the air and over the roof.

“We have had a few storms come through and you kind of know they are coming but this was like nothing I have seen before,” he said.

“It was like a jet engine and then there was a couple bangs and it was over.

SES volunteers fix the damage on Staplehurst Crescent.
Camera IconSES volunteers fix the damage on Staplehurst Crescent. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

“I went outside and the fences were knocked over and the trampoline was gone. Once we settled down I went to find the trampoline and it had ended up 100 metres down the road.

“When I went for a walk around I was asking a few people but no one else was really affected, it was just so isolated.”

Weather Bureau forecaster Luke Huntington said strong winds gust had likely been brought to the surface by a passing shower.

“Initially we thought it may have been a weak tornado but no one saw the funnel cloud and there is no real trail of damage so we think it is probably an isolated strong wind gust over the area,” he said.

“There were a couple of showers in the area and they have brought some strong winds to the surface. The winds would have been pretty light beforehand and with the sudden onset of the shower going through it would have been pretty sudden. As soon as that passes it dies down again.”

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