One year on from Tamworth storm: Massive clean up after storm lashes East Tamworth, CBD

DAMAGE: Roof off a Bourke St building in Tamworth. Photo: Bryan Singh
DAMAGE: Roof off a Bourke St building in Tamworth. Photo: Bryan Singh

It’s been one year since a massive storm lashed the region, uprooting trees, damaging homes, cutting traffic and downing power poles. 

We thought it’d be a good time to take a  look back through the photos from the freak storm.

And if you’re wondering, the Northern Daily Leader has got its new window.

ORIGINAL STORY:

THE city descended into chaos on Monday, December 5 when a massive storm lashed the region, uprooting trees, damaging homes, cutting traffic and downing power poles. 

The storm hit the CBD about 5.15pm, with 44mm of rain, winds of up to 96km/h and large hailstones belting the city, sending emergency crews into overdrive. 

East Tamworth was the worst hit, with a large tree limb snapping and destroying the fence of Calrossy Anglican School, while other gum trees lining Bourke and Brisbane streets were uprooted and cut traffic. 

Downed power lines meant more than 3600 homes and businesses in Tamworth were without power as a result of the freak storm.

Traffic lights were out in the CBD along Brisbane St, including at the intersection of Marius St, as police worked to direct frenzied motorists. 

The SES was inundated with call-outs as local crews responded to a raft of calls for help, from fallen trees to a garden shed being uprooted. 

A roof was ripped off of a Bourke St property, while two floor-to-ceiling windows at The Leader office caved in during the storm.

NSW SES duty operations manager Neil Whidlin said crews had received 142 call-outs across the state between 3pm and 6pm. Eight of those were in Tamworth, but that figure is likely to rise as the storm cell hangs around. 

"Most (of the call-outs) are in relation to trees downed, branches falling as a result of damaging winds,” he told The Leader.

"There will be some thunderstorm activity over Tamworth, but that is expected to die off throughout the night."

Tamworth police, Fire and Rescue NSW crews and the SES were still cleaning up the mess late Monday night.

Damage bill: A tree down in Bourke St after the storm which also smashed the front windows of The Leader's building. Photo: Simon McCarthy

Damage bill: A tree down in Bourke St after the storm which also smashed the front windows of The Leader's building. Photo: Simon McCarthy

Widespread outages

Essential Energy has confirmed more than 3,600 homes and businesses are without power across the Tamworth area.

A spokesperson said crews are working to restore power as quickly as safety allows.

About 200 customers are also impacted at Kootingal.

Power out

Traffic lights are out in the CBD along Brisbane St, including at the intersection of Marius St.

Police are trying to direct traffic and maintenance crews have been alerted.

Have you seen something we haven’t? Send us your photos: mail.ndl@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Force of nature: A tree that snapped in half at Calrossy Anglican School off Brisbane St in East Tamworth. Photo: Peter Hardin

Force of nature: A tree that snapped in half at Calrossy Anglican School off Brisbane St in East Tamworth. Photo: Peter Hardin

SES inundated with calls for help

The SES were inundated with call-outs as the storm gripped Tamworth and the wider Hunter region. 

NSW SES duty operations manager Neil Whidlin confirmed local crews responded to a raft of calls for help in Tamworth, from fallen trees to a garden shed being uprooted. 

There were eight call-outs in Tamworth and 142 across the state between 3pm and 6pm as the large storm hit the region on its way to the coast - but that figure is likely to rise.

"Most (of the call-outs) are in relation to trees downed, branches falling as a result of damaging winds,” he told The Leader.

"For the most part, (the storms) have moved to the coast.

"There will be some thunderstorm activity over Tamworth, but that is expected to die off throughout the night."

Buildings hit

The new Leader building didn’t escape the wrath of the storm, with the front windows smashing.

Emergency crews have been called to repair the front of the Bourke St building, with several trees also down in the street.

Storm wreaks havoc

Damage: A tree down in East Tamworth off Marius St. Photo: Jacob McCarthur

Damage: A tree down in East Tamworth off Marius St. Photo: Jacob McCarthur

A MASSIVE storm has lashed Tamworth snapping trees, damaging homes and buildings.

The severe storm hit the CBD about 5.15pm, with heavy rain and hail belting the city.

Tamworth police, Fire and Rescue NSW crews as well as the SES have been called out to clear fallen trees.

A power outage has been reported in East Tamworth, out towards Moore Creek and near Bithramere with Essential Energy reporting more than 2,500 homes without power.

More to come.