AN ACT fire fighter came across what looked like a tornado yesterday as storms battered the country’s capital, Southern Tablelands and Central West.
The ACT was battered with heavy rain, hail and extreme wind conditions when a severe thunderstorm hit on Tuesday afternoon.
ACT emergency services prepared for the worst when the Bureau of Meteorology issued the warning at about 3pm.
At 7pm, the State Emergency Service had been called out to seven jobs, which included trees down and leaking roofs, but that number was expected to rise.
ACT fire fighter Mark Welsh was driving to check on his home when he came across what he said looked like a "tornado" from Yass River Road, looking back towards Murrumbateman.
"I was at a friends place helping him with some building and on the Yass River road this massive storm had come up over the hill and hit us, it was unbelieve," Mr Welsh said.
"It ripped trees out left, right and centre."
"I left his place to go back to mine to see if it had got hammered as well and when I got out onto the road and looked back towards where I just came from, I could see the shape of a 'tornado'."
Mr Welsh, who was getting ready for work and a "busy night" said he had never seen conditions like that before.
"The wind was just extreme and when I say extreme it would have had to been in the high hundred wind gusts. It was madness," he said.
"It's going to be a busy one tonight, sometimes Canberra misses what the outskirts get.
"It's really hit and miss with the mountains, so usually when we get storms through here there's always trees down and I guess that's what you get with the bush capital I guess."
A branch had blocked off Tunney Crescent in Florey on Tuesday afternoon. A local resident, who wished not to be named, said her son had just walked past with their dog when the branch fell.
"He could have been killed," she said. The resident said she held concerns about the trees in the street, which were getting old and said that today's incident was about the "fifteenth time a branch has fallen from one of the broad acres trees".
Damaging winds of up to 92km/h were detected at Condobolin at 2.40pm, and 98km/h at Parkes at 4pm.