McKenzie Creek couple's loss: lightning kills pet cows

WEDNESDAY afternoon's electrical storm caused heartbreak for one McKenzie Creek woman after four of her pet cows were struck by lightning and killed.

Elsie Exell lost Gem, Suzie, Millie and Millie's calf Snowball in the freak accident.

"I'm 78 years old and I've never seen anything like it," she said.

"The neighbours all heard the loud thunder clap; well it had to be a tree or something but instead of a tree being struck it was my cows."

The Exells' property bore the brunt of strong storm activity about 5pm on Wednesday, leading them to check for fires or damage.

Mrs Exell's husband, Ken, said what they found came as a complete surprise.

"They were just dead under the tree. We could not see a mark on them or anything," he said.

The Exells said they measured 17mm of rain, considerably more than the 1.6mm recorded at Horsham Aerodrome.

"It's just so unusual, we must have been right under the storm," Mrs Exell said.

She said it was hard to accept such a random event had taken away her beloved pets.

"They were all my pet cows, absolute pets they were," she said. "I'm feeling very sad and very disappointed, I've never seen anything like it in all my lifetime."

State Emergency Service regional operations manager Kendra Clegg said that despite the storm, the service had only received three call-outs including one in Anderson Road, Dimboola, where a house was hit by lightning.

No-one was hurt in the incident, and the power supply at the house was unaffected.

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