NT outback is torn apart by a freak storm that damages a roadhouse and drops hail on a desert.


An outback roadhouse in the Northern Territory said it had some “near misses” after a freak storm ripped through the Barkly region last night.

The Barkly Homestead Roadhouse, 220 kilometres east of Tennant Creek, has posted on its Facebook page a series of pictures showing fallen trees and vehicles damaged.

“Mother Nature has not been kind to us,” the post said.

“Last night we were struck by winds in the most severe storm anyone here has ever witnessed.

“Thankfully no-one was hurt, but so many near misses.”

The business has closed its camping and caravan site for at least 24 hours to focus on the clean-up, but said it was still operating the roadhouse for food and fuel purchases.

Jake Green was at the roadhouse when the storm hit and said it was hectic.

“Never seen anything like it in my life,” he told ABC Rural.

“I could hardly hold the door open on my room to see what was going on.”

Trees down and vehicles damaged on the Barkly. (Facebook: Barkly Homestead Roadhouse)

Further south on the Plenty Highway near the Queensland border, the Tobermorey Roadhouse is also cleaning up.

“We had 20 minutes of intense rain here yesterday at 5:30pm,” employee Kath said.

“Our campground flooded, we got some hail and then it just stopped.

“The bore runner here said you never see hail in the desert, so there you go.”

Tobermorey recorded 20mm of rain in the storm, while nearby at Camooweal it received 51mm.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Sally Cutter said a dynamic situation had created strong wind gusts and rain across the southern half of the NT.

She said the weather would get even more interesting as the week rolled on.

“Thursday is the peak, with 15 to 30 millimetres forecast, and we could see isolated falls of up to 45mm anywhere south of Tennant Creek.”

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