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Havoc in path of huge storm

STORM FRONT FURY: Photographer Rachel Deane from Finishing Image Photography captured this dramatic shot looking from Wahroonga Dr in South Tamworth just before 6pm on Wednesday.TREES were uprooted, branches were flung across roads, trampolines were upended and backyard sheds were reduced to smithereens – this was the havoc wreaked by Wednesday night’s thunderstorm.
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The storm reached apocalyptic levels when hailstones the size of pebbles rained down and winds of almost 110km/h picked up.

As many as 11,000 properties lost power during the storm, with the SES called in for a busy evening and were still attending more than 500 households yesterday afternoon, though they expected power to be completely restored by last night.

Armidale, Gunnedah, and Inverell all suffered power

outages, while the main powerline supplying energy to more than 3600 properties in the Attunga, Barraba and Manilla area was struck by lightning, Essential Energy’s regional general manager Ben Williams said.

“After it was hit by lightning, our crews needed to patrol the main powerline from Tamworth through to Barraba for safety reasons prior to switching power back on,” Mr Williams said.

It was almost 11pm before power was restored to residences in Attunga.

Mr Williams said the damage in Armidale was the most widespread and was “the most difficult to rectify”.

NSW state emergency service Namoi Region controller Andrew Galvin said given the severity of the storm, it was remarkable no one has suffered significant injuries or lost their life.

“We probably got away fairly lightly this time,” he said.

The SES had received 130 requests for assistance, ranging from people who had lost half their roof to those who hadtree branches blocking their driveway.

He said one household in Kentucky was so severely damaged the occupants would be unable to live there for the next few days, and three or four Tamworth houses were heavily impacted by the storm.

He said they were called to a site where a garage was demolished after winds of over 100km/h flew through the door and blew the roof off, causing the walls to collapse.

The sheer velocity of the wind picked up objects such as trampolines and even a cubby house, spreading them far and wide.

Tree debris was strewn across roads, with Moore Creek, Bendemeer, Woolbrook and Green Valley Rd hardest hit.

Local woman Tara Alford said the winds at her home in Hallsville were “crazy”.

Miss Ashford said a large tree at the front of her house had fallen down, outdoor chairs went flying, the new gauze on her back verandah was ripped from its seams, and the shed in her backyard “completely flew apart” and was now scattered across her lawn.

“It just picked up – I haven’t seen wind like that in a while,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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