The biggest snow dump in northern Tasmania since the early 1970s has left one business with a $120,000 bill, while others are still counting the cost of the damage.
- Farmers and businesses are counting the cost of this week’s snow dump in northern Tasmania
- A nursery says its damage bill is up to $120,000
- The snow has also damaged a shed at an egg farm, which was hit by a fire last year
Launceston residents woke to a thick blanket of snow covering their homes, cars and streets on Wednesday.
Further north in Karoola, the snow was still several inches thick on Thursday.
Nursery owner Peter Douglas said Wednesday’s snowfall was the most he had ever seen.
“I couldn’t believe it, I was so surprised,” the Red Dragon Nursery owner said.
“We had a good foot of snow here.”
His shade house, which houses more than 18,000 plants, was destroyed.
“I think we can probably save around 40 per cent of the plants, but we’ll get a better idea when we get the shade cloth off,” Mr Douglas said.
“There’s so much snow still on it, it’s quite heavy to move at the moment.”
The repair bill and plant replacement costs are expected to be up to $120,000.
He was woken to the news of heavy snow at 3:00am on Wednesday by his neighbour, who was frantically trying to stop one of his sheds from collapsing under the weight of the snow.
“I couldn’t actually get down to my neighbour in the end, there was too much snow on the road,” Mr Douglas said.
“I then thought I should have a look around my property for damage and that’s when I saw the crushed shade house.”
Mr Douglas’s property neighbours Olson’s chicken farm.
Equipment used to process eggs, worth half a million dollars, was inside the shed that was failing in the unprecedented weather.
“It was quite concerning, the equipment we have in there is vital for our business.
“We’ve now got steel posts holding it up but we will have to do further repairs in the next few days.”
The Olson family has owned the property for more than 120 years and understand there has never been that much snow before.
“It was such an eerie feeling, there was so much snow, the chickens all stayed inside so they were warm in there,” Mr Olson said.
In March last year, 8,000 chickens on the farm were killed in a shed fire caused by an electrical fault.
“This [snow damage] is another blow for us,” Mr Olson said.
Olson’s Eggs has supplied eggs to northern Tasmania for more than a century.
“This could have been a lot worse, so we’re really very lucky.”
At Will Tatchell’s farm at White Hills in the Northern Midlands, snow killed dozens of newborn lambs.
“It’s always disappointing but there’s not much we can do about it, it’s a once in a 40, 50-year snowfall event so it is what it is,” he said.
During the weather event, the SES responded to 48 calls for assistance.
Power was also cut to more than 13,000 Tasmanian electricity customers.