Dunoon residents pick up the pieces
By HELEN JACK
DUNOON resembled a war zone yesterday. Three days after a tornado ripped through the town, broken trees still littered the main street, and homes and gardens looked the worse for wear.
The tornado that ripped through the town on Friday afternoon demolished buildings at random and left others nearby untouched.
The devastation has brought the residents of the small village together as never before.
People unaffected by the storm have opened their hearts and their homes to those who have lost everything.
Some residents, working side-by-side with State Emergency Services, Rural Fire Service and Lismore City Council crews yesterday, appeared to be battle%weary.
Dunoon Store co-owner Julie Moffat said it appeared the reality of the situation had finally started to sink in.
"The store has become the unofficial information centre of the town. Lots of people are phoning to ask what they should do and who they should call for help."
Dunoon local Sabrina Taylor said she had been helping friends affected by the tornado since Friday afternoon.
"Most people are still in shock," she said. "It's almost like a survival situation, and every now and then people just get a little tense.
"But it doesn't stop them from pitching in to help." Nick Hyde said he had never experienced such community spirit within a town anywhere else in the world.
"It's fantastic," he said. "I would like to publicly acknowledge all the volunteer organisations, because they were here to help instantaneously.
"It's something to be proud of. "People in Australia take this sort of thing as normal, but it's not typical in other countries.
"What value do you put on that? "My neighbours and friends were here the morning after the tornado with chainsaws and generators to help me clean up.
"But I still think I am the luckiest bloke in the world compared to other people in the town who have lost everything.
Lismore City Council infrastructure services director Garry Hemsworth said council crews and contractors, working alongside SES and RFS crews, expect to complete the clean-up by tomorrow.