News

NSW tornado 'just the beginning'

The waterspout hit Lennox Head at around 7.30am on Thursday morning, causing wide-spread damage and leaving over 2000 homes without power.
The waterspout hit Lennox Head at around 7.30am on Thursday morning, causing wide-spread damage and leaving over 2000 homes without power. Jocelyn Pegoretti

UPDATE: No assistance for tornado victims

TWO people have been taken to hospital with minor injuries and up to 30 houses in Lennox Head have sustained serious damage after a mini-tornado ripped through the seaside village at about 7.30am.

Power lines are down and an electrical transformer exploded requiring the HAZMAT team to be scrambled to clean-up oil and other hazardous debris.

There have been a number of people injured who are being treated by NSW Ambulance personnel.

Just the beginning

The State Emergency Service (SES) has said the powerful storm was likely to be just the first of many.

"This is just the entree," a State Emergency Service spokesman said.

More waterspouts and violent thunderstorms are likely to leave a trail of destruction through Thursday as the deep low pressure trough which caused the Lennox Head twister moves south, he said.

Houses ripped apart

One of the worst hit houses was Trevor Hickey's in Stewart Street.

The first floor of Mr Hickey's four-year-old 'dream house' was ripped off by the tornado.

Mr Hickey described how he grabbed his wife and took shelter under a blanket on the floor as their house disintegrated around them.

The caravan park was also hard-hit. Several vans were up-ended, but it was fortunate that many of them were unoccupied at the time.

Lennox Head residents have rallied to the cause. Many people are out in the streets helping their neighbours in the worst affected areas to clean up.

An evacuation centre has been set up at the Sports and Recreation Club, Lennox Head, for residents requiring temporary accommodation.

Police ask all residents to stay away from the area as it is considered dangerous due to loose debris and power lines across roadways.

Police ask residents in Northern NSW to take precautions and follow all storm warnings in the region.

'It sounded like a jet'

Emergency services said the picture remained unclear with numerous calls for help from residents in the area.

Police inspector Shane Dean said he could see "mini tornadoes" off the Lennox Head coast.

"As I look out at the ocean you can actually see what I'd describe as mini tornadoes out to sea," he told Seven.

"It sounded like a jet was coming in to land on our house," Lennox Head resident Andy Brown told the ABC.

"The spiralling of the material just being ripped out the roofs as you would see in a tornado in America but just on a smaller scale.

"(There were) sheets of roofing spinning into the air and anything else that it can pick up.

"It's hard to explain, a friend of ours has been injured and they can't get out, no ambulances can get in because of the powerlines."

Anna Dicker, owner of a Lennox Head Hostel, said there was widespread damage.

"It was pretty bad. There's several houses in our vicinity who've lost their roofs, their windows, a lot of damage from flying debris," she told Fairfax Radio Network.

"The power pole's bent, there's caravans on top of caravans ... debris everywhere, it's unbelievable.

"I just heard this huge bang. We sustained a bit of damage to our courtyard roof and I thought that was it until I walked outside and saw the rest of it."

Dave McGuiness whose local business, the Lennox Head Bakery, was missed by the storm said it was "chaos".

The roof was torn off the local pub and it had been destroyed, he told the Nine Network.

"Houses have been destroyed.

"It ripped the caravan park to shreds," he said, and only about four caravans were still standing.

About a dozen homes had their roofs torn off while numerous others had smashed windows and other damage, the SES said.

They have urged people to stay away from the affected areas, one of the worst being the main street, Pacific Parade, which runs between the beach and the town.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the waterspout was caused by an area of deep low pressure which has been moving down the northern NSW coast since Wednesday night.



Heatwave: Temperatures reach 34 degrees, tipped to hit 43

Generic hot weather photo.

And it's only going to get hotter, folks.

Lismore man accused of murdering his son refused bail

A Lismore man will reappear in court next month to face charges of murdering his 29-year-old son.

Court hears the post mortem results have not been finalised

Guard 'heard screaming', saw Byron woman next to dead cop

epa05516083 Australian national Sara Connor (C) participates in the reconstruction of the death of a police officer at Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, 31 August 2016. Australian Sara Connor and British national David Taylor, were arrested by Bali police, and are accused of murdering a local policeman on Kuta Beach. The body of police officer Wayan Sudarsa was found with deep wounds to his head and neck on Kuta beach on 17 August 2016.  EPA/MADE NAGI

Security guard 'heard screaming', saw Byron woman next to dead cop

Local Partners

Heatwave: How to keep cool safely

WHEN the temperatures rise, we all start looking for ways to keep cool. For many of us, these tactics involve water.


Ahoy! The Wooden Boat Festival is on its way

Members of the Richmond River Rowing & Sailing Club admire Mark Pierce's boat Northbridge Junior, ahead of the 2017 Wooden Boat Festival on Australia Day. Back row, from left, is Mark Pierce, Jacqueline Heap, Commodore Phil Robbins and James Kalaf. At front, from left, is Tony Pullyn, George Renault, David Bowler, Geoff Benson and Maurice Renault.

Australia Day event a must-see for fans of timber craft

Northern Rivers murder mystery takes out award at Flickerfest

MURDER MYSTERY: Northern Rivers young actress Yasmin Honeychurch in a still from the award-wiining film In a Canefield by Emily Avila and Coralie Tapper.

Finding'little star' brought film shoot to the region.

Join the challenge to Live Life Large this Friday

Deborah and Neil Marks have been inspired by Jodie's Inspiration to Live Life Large.

Business owner's invitation to join her on Jodie's Inspiration hike

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

$13 million development pulls out of Lismore

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

'Game changer' proposal falls through

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

LAND VALUES: Figures reveal how much your property is worth

Land values in Ballina have increased over the past 12 months.

Property in one Northern Rivers town has increased by almost 14%

6 new estates to build a home on the Northern Rivers

Land estates are available now on the Northern Rivers with some stages opening up soon.

Looking for a place to put down roots and raise a family?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!