A 'mini-tornado' touched down in Townsville, Australia, Tuesday morning damaging 60 homes, injuring 3 people, and leaving 17,000 residents without power.

Residents of the Vincent, Pimlico, and Gulliver suburbs of Townsville -- located just north of Queensland -- woke up to ruined homes, smashed in cars by trees, and debris thrown everywhere.

Vincent resident Henry George told Ninemsn that most of the damage was done in little over 5 minutes.

It's amazing how much damage can be caused in just five minutes by whatever that was ... in that time it ripped (the neighborhood) to shreds, he said to Ninemsn.

Most of the houses on Palmerston Street have no roof, some have no walls.

The highest recorded wind gust was 111 km/h just after 5 a.m. EDT. Townsville experienced 2.6 inches of rain in a single hour said Australian Bureau of Meteorologist senior forecaster Brett Harrison.

Harrison said the bureau has issued warnings of severe rain and wind gusts for the region that will last throughout the day.

The storm only lasted for 10 minutes but it sounded like a freight train, exactly like a tornado, said one resident.

The roof fell on my bed, said resident Tereena McCombe who would have died in the ceiling collapse had her son's dog not alerted her of the storm.

Lucky I was out of the bed, otherwise I would have been dead, she told the Daily Telegraph. Strong wind gusts moved her home's foundation about 1 foot from its original location.

It felt like being in a washing machine without water, she said. It was loud. We had no warning; we didn't know what was going on.

 Ergon Energy was able to restore power to 10,000 properties by 8:30 a.m. EDT but residents in Vincent, Pimlico, and Gulliver are still without.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh flew into Townsville Tuesday morning. In a press conference, she called the aftermath of the storm devastating.

These quiet suburban streets of Townsville have suffered a shocking and devastating event, Bligh told The New Zealand Herald. its force was obviously ferocious.

The army has been called in to help with the cleanup.

There are houses badly damaged in a very narrow swathe in two or three of the suburbs, said Townsville Mayor Les Tyrell, but either side of that life is still going on like normal.

View video of the wreckage below.