March 01, 2007
A Massive damage bill as chaos descends on the city of Canberra.
It has begun a multi-million-dollar clean-up after a FREAK SUPER STORM, ONE OF THE WORST IN THE ACT'S HISTORY, swept across the city late on Tuesday night dumping tonnes of hail and torrential rain. A huge damages bill and disruption to the city centre were among the fallout of the storm which forced the closure of schools, government departments,the city's biggest shopping precinct and the Australian National University (Years of climate change research is feared lost, with glasshouses housing experiments at the university's plant culture facility shattered by the storm.) On the last day of summer, central Canberra was blanketed in ice after the severe supercell storm, of the type responsible for twisters in the United States' Tornado Alley, lashed Civic and northern suburbs. Hailstones the size of golf balls blocked drains, causing extensive flooding which collapsed ceilings of buildings and left their interiors water-logged. A bureau spokesman described the storm as an "ultra-efficient, thermo-dynamic machine" which was RARE, with Canberra not experiencing one in at least a decade. It had certainly been a bizarre end to summer. "Its absolutely amazing that people were freezing to death in Civic this morning and certainly the havoc that the road and the car park closures have given us, certainly wasn't what you would think of on the last day of summer."