A lot of mess for 20 minutes? work
By ALEX EASTON
IT only took 20 minutes to sweep across the city, but the damage caused by Monday's storm will cost thousands to clean up.
As council contractors, SES volunteers, firefighters and Country Energy workers yesterday laboured with the clean-up, Lismore City Council estimated Monday's storm would cost it about $50,000 in physical damage and cleanup costs.
But a spokesman for the council conceded that estimate was for damage to council property only, including the transit centre which had a tree crash into its roof.
That estimate did not include buildings such as the Centrepoint Motel in Molesworth Street, which lost its roof during the storm, or the 150 residents who called the State Emergency Service for help.
Centrepoint manager Bob McKenzie yesterday said work had already begun to rebuild the roof, which peeled off like a sardine tin lid during the storm.
However, he was unable to estimate how long the damage would take to fix or the eventual cost, beyond agreeing it would run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
SES Lismore controller Lindsay Matterson said residents calling the service faced issues such as trees smashing into their houses damaging roofs and brickwork, trees hitting powerlines, and sections of roof damaged in high winds.
There were also residents with small trees down and minor damage.
A spokesman for Lismore City Council said the council and Tryton worm farm had waived tip fees for residents cleaning up after the storm. The offer applied only to cars, utes and trailers carrying green waste until Sunday. Until then, the tip would remain open until 6pm.