30 March, 2023
Nearly half-million dollars in damages from recent storms
Devastating thunderstorms swept through Gilgandra last week with more $400,000 in damages caused locally.
Local grain storage manufacturer, Ahren’s, lost nine
silos to the storm with the roof of GrainCorp’s silos also
bent out of shape; a first for the local businesses.
There was also some powerlines down as well as a
number of trees; but Gilgandra’s SES unit commander,
Geoff Kiehne, said, all-in-all, not too-much damage was
“It could have been a lot worse that’s for sure,” he
The SES responded to about eight to 10 calls on
Wednesday night after the storm had hit at about
“Most of the calls were for trees down, obstructing roads, or infringing on residencies,” Mr Kiehne said.
“From our perspective, the damage to residential
buildings were relatively minor, but we’re not suggesting
there was none… Ahrens and even GrainCorp, had
a lot of damage,” he added.
Operations manager of Ahren’s Gilgandra, Andrew
Schier, said that seven of the showground-stored 126-
tonne silos were destroyed in the storm, a further two
were written-off in the yard, with another four damaged
“We have a fair bit of work ahead of
us,” Mr Schier said.
“It is in excess of $400,000 in damages.
They’re insured, and we are going through that
process, but we haven’t finalised that at all.”
This damage came after Ahren’s had a development
application approved last month to expand their workshop.
While the damages won’t affect the build, it will
cause some production delays.
“Some of those bins will be covered by other stock
but, for example, half-a-dozen were ready to go to one
customer that we’d been waiting on for three months, so
they’ll be a bit delayed,” Mr Schier said.
“It’d be different if it was September or October and
they all needed them for harvest.”
Mr Schier explained that the owner of the businesses
was made aware of the risk having silos out in the elements
just last week. While the showground is a good
spot for advertising and storage, it posed a risk.
“I was hoping we were through storm season,” said
“Throughout the businesses and here in Gilgandra, we’ve never bolted silos down, they’ve always been in groups in the yard, which has also caused problems before,” he added. The silos are now being fastened with iron posts.