WERRIS Creek was busy cleaning up yesterday after a brief but fierce storm hit the town on Sunday afternoon, with wind gusts of more than 100km/h recorded.
The southern end of the town was the worst-hit, with householders on Single St clearing away fallen tree branches, and one unoccupied home sustaining water damage after the roof was damaged during the storm, which struck about 5pm.
Resident Wayne Woods was yesterday helping his mother, Winnifred, cleanup her backyard after the winds tore off or snapped most of the branches of a large gum tree, and brought down the clothesline, in her Kurrara St home’s yard.
“The winds came from Caroona way, and when they came in there was lightning right the way around, which was unusual – we normally don’t get that,” Mr Woods said.
“Then the winds hit from the south-west and they were very sudden. It hit this corner of town.
“The winds went on for about an hour, then the rain ... then it eased off.”
He said the northern end of town was hit by a bad storm a couple of years ago, so it was the southern side of town’s turn to bear the brunt this time.
He said the storms had fortunately cooled down the region from the highs of 42 degrees Celsius recorded on Saturday and Sunday.
Local Ron Dellar, who works with the Werris Creek Fire Brigade, said the winds were the most destructive element of Sunday night’s storm, which was part of a line of cells that moved through the North West, striking centres including Tamworth, Boggabri and Wee Waa.
“We got about 15 minutes of it, but only 10mm of rain. But it could’ve been a lot worse than what it was,” Mr Dellar said.
“On the fire brigade radio I could hear that a caravan had been blown over in Boggabri, and Gunnedah, Boggabri and Wee Waa were out.”
Liverpool Plains Shire State Emergency Service local controller Frank Turner said Werris Creek was the worst-hit in his area.
“We had four roof jobs – three of these were in Werris Creek and one in Quipolly – two damaged buildings, both at Werris Creek, and five trees across roads in the area,” Mr Turner said.
“Our crew got called out at 5pm on Sunday and we finally finished all jobs at 1am yesterday.
“I have definitely seen worse storms, but what surprised me the most was how widespread it was. I have never seen a storm go right across the area like it before.”