Weather girl rains praise on the SES
By ANDY PARKS
CHANNEL 7's Monique Wright was signing autographs and being photographed with Lismore locals yesterday when the Sunrise program came to town.
Throughout the morning she spoke to residents and SES workers on-air to get their stories on the storm that hit Lismore.
"I spoke to one SES worker who only joined up four days ago and he hasn't stopped since. These guys are amazing," she said. "They have been here since before 5 o'clock this morning."
The program included six live crosses to Lismore from outside St Andrew's Church, which had suffered severe damage. A crowd of around 40 spectators turned up to meet Monique and see live television at work.
Monique's main role with the program is as a weather presenter, and she explained that Lismore had been hit by a super cell.
"It was a high precipitation super cell which is a rotating thunder storm. It's the worst type of thunderstorm and only a step away from tornado strength," she said. "It's very unusual and a really bad start to the storm season. This is actually the sixth day in a row storms have been forecast for this area."
Lismore mayor Merv King was due to be interviewed just before 8.30am, but technical difficulties prevented it from happening. Cr King was at the Lismore Showground when the storm hit.
"It was a frightening experience. The amount of hail, it just went on and on," he said. "It's certainly the worst I've seen in my 70-odd years."
Cr King had been out inspecting damaged areas with NSW Emergency Services Minister Nathan Rees. Cr King also has inspecting council buildings and said it was expected that damage bill alone would be around $800,000.
"Every council building in the CBD has been affected apart from the library and the Neighbourhood Centre," he said.