Cars, rooves, homes battered

PHOTOS:Click here to view our mega gallery of yesterday's storm.

HAIL the size of golf balls has battered the city, damaging cars and blanketing backyards and footpaths in a sea of white. 

The freak hailstorm hit the region yesterday about 2pm and lasted less than 10 minutes.

But the damage left in its wake was far-reaching.

Anita Rodway was at her home in Susanne St, South Tamworth when mother nature unleashed.

“It just started out as pea-size, then got really intense, she said.

“The tin roof is dinted ... it was pretty deafening.”

Ms Rodway said the short-lived storm was more severe than the one that 

pummelled the district last December.

“That hailstorm wasn’t as intense as that, this was something else,” she said.

Peel Valley Motors on Gunnedah Rd was also hit hard.

Staff pre-empted the attack and put as many cars as they could fit undercover, but many still took the brunt.

Joseph Stolker said about 50 or 60 cars “copped a bit”, with those undercover also affected due to the hail’s trajectory, which he said was coming in at a 45- degree angle.

The Tamworth Discount Drug store on Robert St and the Lucky 7 Hi-Way Superette store on Goonoo Goonoo Rd were also left damaged after hail blocked their gutters, leaving rain to seep through the ceiling.

Meanwhile, ferocious wind gusts of 

up to 111km/h in Murrurundi Gap and 84km/h in Tamworth, flung tree branches, like the ones on Scott Rd, to the ground.

Late yesterday afternoon Namoi SES regional controller Andrew Galvin said the volunteer organisation had received nine calls for help from residents in Tamworth and three from the Armidale community, but he predicted more to come.

“We anticipate as people come home this afternoon, they will probably find more damage and we will expect some additional jobs,” Mr Galvin said.

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