Tamworth weather: wild storms batter North Tamworth, Tamworth CBD, Westdale

Big winds: The blow-up coffee cup in Bridge St. Photo: Ashleigh Adnett

Big winds: The blow-up coffee cup in Bridge St. Photo: Ashleigh Adnett

WILD storms battered the region on Thursday night leaving thousands without power and forcing businesses to close.

Powerlines were brought down in Cole Rd, Tamworth, while traffic lights in the CBD flashed yellow as gusty winds and heavy rain belted parts of Tamworth.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Tamworth reported wind gusts upwards of 75km per hour during the storm front.

Trees snapped on Manilla Rd in Oxley Vale, and water swirled across the road in Westdale and North Tamworth with reports of hail also.

The SES had two teams still out trying to clear the backlog of jobs on Friday.

“We were called to 36 jobs in total in Tamworth, most of them were relating to wind damage,” Namoi Deputy Region Controller Heath Stimson said.

“Quite a lot have been roof damage and trees down.

“Unsecured items like trampolines blowing away was also a problem, we had one incident where a trampoline blew into a neighbours yard in Tamworth and damaged windows and the roof.”

Centrepoint Plaza was also forced to close its doors because of the power outage.

Forum 6 Cinemas said the massive storm and power outage mean the movies would not be running, and instead told customers to hold onto their tickets to use for another session.

Windy weather: The storm snapped this tree in half in Tamworth. Photo: Tori Jayne Zimmehl

Windy weather: The storm snapped this tree in half in Tamworth. Photo: Tori Jayne Zimmehl

A shop in Tamworth Shoppingworld also had to pull out the buckets and mops after water streamed in.

“Crews are continuing and we've had four teams in the field on Thursday night and two teams continuing on Friday,” Mr Stimson said.

“We've got four jobs in the Walcha area with trees down and we had one job in Uralla and we've also had about five jobs in Guyra for wind and storm-related incidents.”

McDonalds in East Tamworth had no lights and no power, with cars turned away from the carpark after it was cordoned off.

According to Essential Energy, 8,000 homes and businesses were impacted by power outages across the region.

“For the safety of the public and their property, power was switched off to more than 4,100 premises in Tamworth progressively between 5.08pm and 5.28pm on Thursday afternoon as the storm impacted the electricity network,” Northern manager of community relations David Crough said. 

“Our priorities after the storms were to ensure the safety of the public and their property and then to restore power as quickly as possible for customers.”

Outages impacted Coledale, Forest Hills and parts of the CBD, East Tamworth, Oxley Vale, Moore Creek and Winton.

“The unplanned power outages were the result of direct lightning strikes to the electricity network and debris, including trees, a gazebo and tin, pulling down and becoming caught in powerlines,” Mr Crough said.

“Crews worked as quickly as safety allowed to restore power for those impacted by an unplanned outage as a result of the storm.”