Tornado terror: 'It was like a bomb went off'

SHOCKED Rutherglen residents have told of the terror as last night's tornado ripped through their homes.

"It was like a bomb went off," said fish and chip store operator Dawn Leahy.

"I was holding onto the front door of my shop watching things flying past."

The town's Main Street is in disarray.

One empty building has crumbled across the road (scroll through above photos for picture).

The Jasper Brothers car dealership is barely recognisable after a wall was completely torn away (pictured).

Tuileries winery has lost part of its roof and the number of other damaged properties is in the dozens.

Parts of Rutherglen have had no power since 10.30pm last night.

At Barooga, post office operator Max Steward likened the tornado to a lawnmower moving through his property.

The NSW SES has today reported that a car was picked up and tossed onto its roof at Mulwala.

The occupant was uninjured.

9.30AM: A super cell of thunderstorms produced the tornado that smashed its way through Mulwala last night.

The Bureau of Meteorology says there is no doubt a tornado struck the town.

But it is still to early to tell whether that caused the destruction unleashed in other areas such as Cobram or Rutherglen.

The bureau has sent an expert from Melbourne to Yarrawonga-Mulwala to assess the damage in order to work out the path taken by the tornado.

TEN people were injured and another 80 people were “walking wounded” last night after tornadoes ripped through the Yarrawonga-Mulwala area.

There were reports of caravans being picked up and thrown by extreme winds at the View Denison County Caravan Park and Sun Country Holiday Village, both in Mulwala.

Ambulance Victoria paramedics treated 10 people and reported that dozens of others were “walking wounded” with scratches and minor cuts inflicted as a result of the tornadoes.

Most patients treated by paramedics suffered minor head, chest and back injuries after being tossed around their caravans or hit by falling branches.

Two people were taken to Yarrawonga hospital, where a triage point was set-up for storm victims.

The SES said the tornadoes also hit Rutherglen, Bundalong and Cobram.

Rutherglen and Yarrawonga recorded more then 40 millimetres of rain yesterday.

At Barooga, the post office roof was blown off and trees fell on several cars along Golf Course Road.

In the North East the SES received more than 100 calls for assistance, while that number was close to 1000 statewide.

Several roads in Benalla and Swanpool were closed last night and there were reports of fallen power lines in the towns.

The Hume Freeway was closed just after 7pm due to fallen trees but traffic was moving freely again 30 minutes later.

Fallen trees also interrupted traffic on the Murray Valley Highway near Bundalong.

Heavy rain and strong winds moved towards Albury-Wodonga but no serious damage was reported. Albury recorded 20 millimetres of rain yesterday.

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